“Making the Moon Howl” by Maria Ercilla


It’s all madness. It has to end,
he kept repeating,
all along pressing me into the sand
that afternoon in Cabo,
drinking rain in between his words.
I will never forget you . . .
You’re in my bones . . .
in the very marrow, he continued,
a lazy hand cupping my left breast.
But I can’t leave her. You understand.
I looked up at him with swollen eyes.
He kissed my eyelids.
We made the moon howl, didn’t we? he sighed,
feeling powerful,
then whispered,

You know I will always love you.
I hugged him tightly
then emptied out all my love for him
with one quick thrust of my knee
in his groin.
He howled like never before.
And I will always hear your cry, I said,
rolling him off me for the last time.



Maria Ercilla was born in Havana. She has a B.A. in English and M.A. in Education from UCLA. Her stories and poetry have appeared in Calyx, Puerto del Sol, Amelia, and other journals. Her awards include The International Hemingway Poetry Award and the Allen Tate Memorial Award. Her work recently appeared in So Luminous the Wildflowers, an anthology of poetry by California writers. She is presently at work on her third novel, The Year of the Bad Boy. Ms. Ercilla lives in Los Angeles, California with her son and daughter.