Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Hearts from Stone

I was not always alive as you see me, not tremulous, soft, and moist. I did not love, yield; spread supine thighs. I was stone, cold spirit, dead bones of a still earth.
I was awakened to desire.

I was hewn from a bed of flowing marble into a rough-cut oblong. It hurt, that first cutting, the pain of birth. I was wrapped in some thick stuff by careless untender hands and pressed down on sweaty flesh, some laborer’s straining back. I dimly sensed some journey without end: jostling steps, curses, and I was levered upright.

Gentle hands removed the wrappings. All around me danced thin veils of golden light, alive with sequined dust and a slow hand caressed me, tracing some planned path on my geometry, the merest hint of pleasure, and then I was abandoned in a murky corner. Arranged all around me were other shapes; twisted forms that showed the merest glimpse of some vast ambition yearning to break free from the unkind confines of stone.
I can’t tell how long I waited. I stood and stood; watching others suffer the screaming ecstasy of his chisels, the perfecting pain revealing beauty, a hunger for life.

And then one night, he stumbled in - drunk- the dense scent of wine around him; a woman under his arm. He drew her to the cot in the corner; fell back on the tumbled blankets, groaning. She was dark, thin; heavy breasted, with thick upright nipples already glistening from his mouth.

They fumbled or stumbled, I know not what, and she was astride him. Rough, quick she rode him, and he shouted out some words; a woman’s name, and opened up his eyes. He threw her off then, just pushed and she fell a-sprawl; thighs opened, all revealed on the dusty floor. He was shouting, struggling to come upright, hands gripping to hold back the flow of seed from his spurting cock.

“Putana!” he screamed, and he dragged at her, he threw her naked - bewildered- down the stairs, and returned to stand, sobbing in the dim light.

And that was when the moon blessed me. One sliver of light slid down me, ignited my incandescent whiteness, and he saw me. He came toward me -a man with fierce dark eyes, his face rough cut, his mouth embittered. The tears had stained him, smudged evidence of the drunken night; and he drew a hand across his face smearing and mingling with the tears the fluids of his rough coupling.

That same trembling smeared hand he lay on me, on my glistening surface. He groaned, and his fingers traced a contour, an imagined curve.

Shall I tell you of the pain or the desire?

He cut me, rough pain entering me, deepening me. He described me, the curves of my breasts yearning from the stone, the shallow curve of my belly. Shall I tell you how each cut, each perfecting thrust was followed always by his tender mouth? Shall I tell you how the smoothing rough tongues of emery pained and pleasured my wakening skin? He was chanting, speaking, murmuring his delight; and I? I was coming o life. When did it happen? Did a slow breath infuse my lips with colour, did his tracing fingers suddenly find between my thighs wet unfolding petals, deepening heat, an inviting sigh?

I cannot now recall, only the slow softening of my whole, and his hands, his cradling gentle hands cupping me to his heart. He loved me from the very start: his kiss a welcoming, his desire the final part of some summoning, some magical thing neither of us later could describe. But I do know, the final blessing: the tender easing of his cock into me, my clinging flesh around him, enfolding him; and his slow thrust, his love and his voice. And so he made me, flooding me he named me: the final calling me to life, his shout, his tears, and his delight lifting me -trembling- to mine.
He named me.

Manuela Cardiga

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