‘You have to leave now Z, before it becomes impossible.’
‘How is New York?’
‘Seriously Z. We’re very worried, I promised Aziz I would look after you. You are no longer safe.’
‘I don’t need looking after Serge. I promise. I’m fine. I’m settling in. Tell me some gossip instead. How are things with you? And at the bank? With Selma’s gallery?’
The distance between us, the awkwardness, is hidden in the slight time delay the ghosts of telephony bestow upon the conversation. I know he’s thinking I’m heading for another breakdown. I don’t tell Serge that a prophecy led me here. That would only confirm his fears.
A vision of a city that was the place I was born in, and sometimes the fugitive corners of all the other streets I’d ever wandered down, called to me insistently night after night. I walk the deserted routes of my childhood at dawn towards something unnamed. Then there is darkness and a full moon, a bright neon moon. The fist permanently clenched around my heart unfurls and an extraordinary lightness fills my chest so that a silken bolt of night-dark sky and thousands of stars emerge from within me, from this relief, this letting go, a scatter of planets and new beginnings, this release from a long exile. ‘A full moon and an inheritance you thought you had lost are now returned to you.’ It is a thought, rather than a voice in the dream.