I walk up the hill, walk along a winding narrow street and at the top I find a mosque (later, I tell myself the mosque found me). I wrap a scarf from around my neck on my head, climb up, remove my shoes (hide them low on the shelf – afraid that someone will steal my shoes – odd the fears that arise when travelling alone) and walk up the red carpeted stairs, four floors to the top. A woman, as always in any mosque is sleeping in the corner, I find a spot on the balcony overlooking the men’s section, I put my head into my hands and think I will say a prayer, but instead, I find my face wet and then when I think I have nothing left to offer, I begin to weep. Head in hands, a shawl wrapped haphazardly around my head, on that dusty carpet, I feel after a long time, what I have forgotten.
God is merciful.
My whole body shakes into my hands.
Later, walking down the hill, I stop at the Iranian pizza place. Drink tea. Listen to stories of men who came to this country and slept in churches in the winter. I thank God. Listen to the night passing by. Say my name out loud, to myself, to remember who I am. A truck is passing in the narrow street, calling out something, bumping along with its wares. I walk home. The ground begins to fall, the lights filling the street.