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Man in the Moon

by Adrianna de la Rosa

Once she saw the man in the moon from her lover's house. Standing at the windows looking out over the dark sea, she looked up at the face of the full moon and saw what every Renaissance artist saw; the face in three-quarter view for the first time. This might have been enough for her. Her lover stood behind her, holding her wrists at her back, exerting a gentle pressure. Just enough to tell her that she was his and his alone. She craved ownership like this. For years she had been the dusty, unused wife of someone else, and this was to be her break for freedom.

She wanted him to be very far inside of her, not just in her head, but in her heart and body as well. This was the man she planned to let in. She wanted merger. No one had ever gone this far before toward her center. He seemed to care about this, and his small gestures and caresses were designed to inflame and unlock her each time a little further. She realized that no man had ever really been with her so completely before. His whispers left tracks on her skin, subtle heat.

One night he sat behind her, cradling her. He took her long curly auburn hair between his teeth and drew it out strand by strand. She felt herself growing wetter and fuller, like a plant in a hothouse. He told her that she tasted of cinnamon, and bought her oils with that fragrance to anoint herself. At that time she didn't know what it was to come. Men had pounded into her so much with their hard insistences that she had given up on love. An impotent husband had been a relief after this much sorrow.

But now she wanted to be swallowed whole and submerged in desire with someone else. Another writer. Not for dominance and submission, but for equality. For the feminine, made flesh and lustful. He made her quiver. This had never happened before, and since she had not experienced it, she came. She had to ask him if this was what orgasm was, the first time. He planned to help her in her quest to go up what she called the golden staircase. He would take her by the hand, and they would go step by step. Once she saw the stars and was lost in the cosmos, she clung to him as if he were her only hold left. He just smiled.

He was never afraid of her. He would take her anywhere, and at any time, even through blood. He took her on the floor once amidst the broken glass they kicked aside. Time slowed down. His tongue drew small arcs of flame from her lips. A different door unlocked inside of her. In between, they talked for hours. They had to touch each other. It was something in the blood, something in the bone, two parts of a whole made into something larger. When he came, he screamed as if he were dying. She would push pillows up against his face for him to bite. He would try to fathom just what it was that she did to him. Then she would smile.

The moon came and went, tracing its arc over his house by the sea with no curtains. She would lie in its pure white softness, stretched out fully in front of him, wanting him to drink her in. She had never been this naked. All of her was laid open to him like the fullest flower -- a rose or a dahlia in bloom. Her legs akimbo under his flickering hands. He told her to spread them wider, and for some reason this didn't bother her. She did as she was told.

He liked to lie over her in such a way that she was cradled by one of his arms, while his other hand traveled the length of her, slowly and deliberately. He spent hours warming her like this, and never once said he was tired. Just relax, he would say. She let go under this spell that he had over her. She could float on this tranquil sea under the moon and forget everything she thought she knew about herself.

He had two entirely different hands. One was the hand of an artist, gentle, its cuticles forming sensitive V shapes, while the other was simply a ragged claw. It was this animal hand that she loved the most. The intuitive way it crept inside of her, opening her, two places at once. Her own hand touched herself in front of him. No embarrassment. Friends. He helped her toward a place she had never been, out of some perverse kindness he would only name as convoluted in the end. For her it was a kind of bliss that the prophets understood. Only Rumi could describe it. Could enter the edges of it. A poetics made of fire.

Man in the Moon will be continued in the next issue...

©2002 by Adrianna de la Rosa

Adrianna de la Rosa is an artist and writer who calls Summerland by the sea her only real home.

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