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Inside My Body Is The Fall Of Rome

by Anna Suarez

I have done all I could; I instructed men to build the vast coliseum walls of a great empire of my bone, sealed with blood. I have devoured my enemies. I have called forth the gods to stand at all my entrances, damning all of those who have entered me. My empire stands all powerful.

Under the Mediterranean sun, I watch my skin turn from ivory to bronze, glowing with the eroticism of the Italian coast. Embracing lovers pass me, carrying roses they bought from the street vendors. I do not allow roses to diminish my strength. I do not wither in ecstasy. There is no melting of words in between pauses, no surrender and no loss.

I never knew a day would come where I would lose my victories.

The day he pierced me with a golden hour.

The day my body withered in ecstasy.

He strokes all of my entrances, to the erupting waves. I am pulsating. My skin is crawling. His skin is much darker than mine. We blend into a luminous ombré, against the fresh, white sheets. With force, he opens my legs and reveals the oyster’s pearl left in the darkness. He cleanses every inch with the white sun. He is destruction and rebirth at one moment.

I hear the sloshing of the Mediterranean, as he sails across the seas covering me. We meet tongues slowly and are then interrupted, by the possessing of my hips with his hands. The arrow extends deep into my walls, which stops time. The gods are silenced. My ears are entrenched deep in the water. There are no sounds. No words. He asks me to tell him how his flesh feels, but all I can seem to mutter is the sound of seashells shattering at the coast. Sea glass cutting my knees. Dissolving into ruins. Entering nothingness. Only tasting the bittersweetness.

We have been in bed for 1,000 years. I have given it all, to be locked in his embrace, between his thighs and tasting the drops of holy water. I would let my communities starve. I would let invasions and pillages destroy all I have built. The world around me could dissolve like sand if only I could be filled with an everlasting elixir of Eros.

The elixir smooths my skin, like a moisturizing oil which leaves it melting from the softness. It turns to glue and we are stuck together. Aristophanes tells us we have found our other half. There is nothing left to search for. Nothing left to look for. I have two universes growing figs out of our flesh. We exchange bites out of each other's fruits, feeding off the juicy flesh. Our bed was a fertile Earth, propagating crops out of our lovemaking. When we grew hungry, we harvested the oysters, the eggplants, the peaches and the figs.

Outside of our bed, the city streets grew vacant with starvation. The republic slowly collapsed into chaos. The intricate buildings were pillaged. None of that mattered to us. Once we tasted the sweetness of the fruit, the bitterness could be negated with the sounds of sucking flesh. Screams of terror arise in the distance, as the empire was at war, but we tuned out the terror with our bodies colliding into one another.

He feeds me his fruit—a hardened candy with decadent juice, ready to explode with the caress of my tongue. Mouth wide open, I cannot swallow enough of him. He cannot swallow enough of me.

I have become a victim to love—love’s prisoner and love’s vessel to possess. Once, so strong, but the weakness has become so sweet—I did not want to look back. The power fell to pieces. The desire to conquer dissipated. My enemy transcended into a lover. All of his complexity, his strength, and vivacity mesmerized me. All I had left was what I wanted to give away.

On the one-thousandth day, I awoke to the morning light illuminating the space my arms outstretched to. I reach to the heavens, but all of the fruit trees encapsulating our bed have been cut down. My sweet killer completed his bittersweet deeds and left nothing but space.

With all of the courage I had left, I walked outside to the ruins of my empire. The lifeless soil did not shine in the sun. The crops did not grow. The architecture was left as ruins. The basilicas held no holy ghost.

With the emptiness, I cried a river of tears and drowned the ruins in my sorrow. I cried so many tears, that the swelling of oceans drowned the hollowness of my body. Falling to the ocean floor, I built a new home deep within the sea...free from the bitterness of love Free from the single embrace that destroys the largest empire.