It was late that night; I couldn't sleep.
Restless and exhausted, I went outside to sit
under the moon, gibbous and yellow, in the garden.
She was there, in the inky shadows, as if she'd been waiting all along.
I didn't expect to find you here, I blurted, startled.
Her only response is laughter, and for a moment
she looks like someone I've encountered before
(androgynous face, unkempt hair, wise eyes).
Surely you know better than that, she purrs once she’s done laughing.
I can't tell if she's teasing me or chiding me.
But, Jerusalem -
Is just one place in the world, she finishes for me. Daughter, I have taught you better.
She frowns; I am silent, sullen, mute.
Her eyes are dark, dark as berries, her skin soft as moonlight.
I tremble, I don't know where to begin.
No matter how many years, where I live or what I call myself she always has that effect on me.
You're wasting your time, I turn away bitterly. I am unprepared -it's too soon.
Preparation, she speaks the word as if tasting it.
You can spend your whole life preparing and still be unready.
I can't, I protest, tripping over my words, I've forgotten too much,
I no longer know the way home and I know they haven't forgotten....
When the tears come I can't stop them
and I cry like a child; for all that I've lost, for my innocence, for all the changes I cannot undo.
She takes me in her arms, fierce with compassion;
I'm surprised -I'd expected her to be cruel.
It's not the end, you know, she kisses my forehead.
It's only the beginning.
I just cry, too angry with myself to do anything else.
The way Home will always be open to you, she assures me softly.
Don't go - please! I beg her. The night shifts.
You'll find me again, you always do, she laughs.
Suddenly I am alone in the garden,
Tasting apples as the moon begins to set.