© Lillian Holden Ramirez
The window was locked; the catch rusted shut. No escape would it provide from the heat and stifling humidity. My sheer cotton gown clung to my damp skin as I turned from the window and padded to the bedroom door. Slowly I turned the knob, then waited to make sure the creaking hinges hadn’t awakened anyone. Tiptoeing across the darkened living room, I slid the deadbolt free.
Outside the earth stood silent beneath the full moon; its light rendering the night almost as bright as day-- but unlike in daylight, each pebble on the walkway captured the moon’s brilliance to shine like little stars. The feathery leaves of trees were no longer green, but blue, in the quavering light. This was a different planet-- or so it seemed.
The moon had transformed the cement patio into a slab of glittering silver, and as I walked barefoot across it, the crickets ceased their symphony as if I were an interloper encroaching on their private world. I sat upon a bench and listened to the night birds fluttering restlessly in the trees. I didn’t know what kind of birds they were, but I imagined exotic plumage of iridescent colors and dark thoughts of conspiracy.
Suddenly from the bushes near the pool, a cloud of moths rose up on silver wings as if to kiss the golden goddess of the moon, and I thought about how common creatures were transformed by night. The tiny mouse, curled tightly in his nest by day, now embarked upon a perilous quest for food, my cat, so gentle in the light, was now a beastly vision of teeth and claws and glowing eyes prowling in the jungle of the garden.
As I gazed in wonder at the moon, I realized that I was but a visitor to this soft-edged shadowy universe-- a universe doomed to vanish as morning streaks invade the eastern sky. The world of hard light and substance was coming quickly to reclaim me, but no longer could it imprison me completely within its iron bars of stark reality, because I have visited the night-side of the earth, and part of me refuses to return.
© Lillian Holden Ramirez
The window locked,
Catch rusted shut--
No escape would it provide.
The gown clung to my skin
As I crossed the darkened room,
And slid the deadbolt free.
The earth stood silent,
In full moon’s light,
Rendering the night
As bright as day--
But unlike in day, this night,
Each pebble of the walkway
Captured twice the moon
To shine like infant stars.
The trees, no longer green,
But feathered blue in quavering light,
Upon this newborn planet grew,
And my aspiring mind awakened and transformed,
The common courtyard into slabs of silver
drenched with dew.
The crickets ceased their symphony,
As I, the interloper passed them by,
Listening to the night birds,
All aflutter in the iridescent trees
That set their minds aflame
With thoughts of dark conspiracies.
As clouds of flickering moths rose up
To kiss the golden goddess of the moon,
I thought how common creatures
The tiny mouse, curled tightly in his nest by day
By night, applies his skills
In frenzied quest for sustenance.
My cat, so gentle in the light,
Now a beastly vision, teeth and claws,
Prowling in the gardens of the night.
“I am but visitor,” this soft-edged universe
Whispered in my waiting ear,
“I fade when morning’s streaks invade eastern sky.”
“Go,” then I replied, “No longer prisoner of the day
For I have seen the night-side of the earth.
And dipped my fingers in your wine,
Forever you are mine.”