The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. Psalm 121
On a hillside scattered with temples broken under the dogday sun, my friend and I drank local wine at nightfall and ate grapeleaves in goat-yogurt glaze. The living grape vines bore fruit overhead. Beyond our balcony, beyond the Turkish rooftops, an old moon touched Venus at one tip. This vintage, he said, would melt pig iron. But I wondered, were we drunk enough, and he said no. I took him, staggering and laughing, in my arms, and soon, with snow at nightfall easing off, another old moon slid into the hill behind my dead friendâ€™s house. He loved that smear of light cast back on it from earth.