M. Leland Oroquieta

The Hollow of Full-Moons

I blame this mess on a diva called Club Andromeda. Leaning against her walls, you looked calm in attitude camouflaged by shadows, lost in the deep end of tongues, ears, and lower-backs teasing out the ticklish in the nature of the beast salivating for deliverance.


For nights, I bookmarked you right there, near the lavatory doors of my eyes, like eye-candy under-forty, tossed out of Marrakech for humidities swirling around Djakarta, Singapore, and Manila. Soon, the serpents on your arms hissed sweaty patterns around my thighs, tattooing me with intoxicating positions.

Indeed, how could I resist the glut of animal logic cresting high into a spectacle of neck and shoulders trained to disclose the universe in the length of your gaze? I gobbled your script right away, simplified into man-tits sizing up my capacity for absolute surrender.

You are the mood of midnights now, an imagined scent from a well in your pores, from your shaved head, shiny and grimy with expectations: a residue of silhouettes overlapping each other in extended periods of desperation. But you once were the pulsating rhythm of bay-views in my yachts, anchored in my abyss, on the edge of cities prepping up for a new age of economic imperialism, belted from the busy ports of Asia and beyond.


And how could I forget your eyes. They have the power of brown, of men between Papua New Guinea and the rest of the Pacific, armored for submission against her disabling temper and suspicious amity. For nights, my sighs fondled you into a fortress of anonymity, in a brotherhood detached from the artifice of names and extended conversations.

Each morning, I’d see a coastline dressed in vague brilliance, reminding me it’s daybreak once again, and that home is somewhere, on the margins of vision engorged in spreadsheets, graphs, and codes, longing for creatures girdled with skills to enchant other humanoids craving for the beauty of calves, toes, and the underside of thighs.


You banished a climate in my universe inside that diva’s burning belly. I’m famished for more, for the myth you wanted to impart in any figure I could haggle. I know I’m still a child, ever-possessive with toys that doesn’t belong to him, all frantic for replacements. Ownership is an exciting game. I can never master it properly. I can only beg to master it the way I want it to be, the way you disappeared just like that, to sugar other daddies, beneath the glitter and hollow of glass and steel in Dubai, Rome, or Lagos.

A week ago, I docked one of my yachts in Hong Kong, in a photograph of my wife and two children, taken when they were still devouring an advanced calculus of dreams through Marx, Foucault, and other so-called classics, dreaming of an Ivy League pedigree. I gave them the courage to hope, fight, and the best flights away from their father’s imagination: rugged, unflinching independence.

I imagined your presence around me that day, colonizing the air I was breathing, after finalizing divorce papers. This penchant for the thick end of thumbs and other body-parts has never been this categorical with any man I’ve met before, ever since grad school in Cambridge.


Yesterday, I found myself on The Great Wall alone. Morning air held my thoughts in a trance of colliding echoes of my father screaming at me years ago. The monster diluted the mix-raced child to insignificance, and mothered me in the language and fists of discontent, decidedly unforgiving and merciless, until the child considered the margins of alleys and strangers home for many years.

Soon, the wall slipped into a mist so thick and beautiful I thought I was flying, carried away, finally rescued from my nature, from whatever regime is controlling me to accumulate masses of wealth and disposable, beautiful creatures. And as always, I deposit the glamour of their eyes in a museum of apparitions and cartoon characters, in a gallery of recycled needs about the male form.

I refuse to think you are one of these replaceables, raging in me like another spoiled brat, to nourish my pathologies. The way you touched my neck on the wee hours of twilight did something to the algorithms in my head, as though you’ve found a way to decode something impenetrable and opaque, dense with the hollow of full-moons that will always feel like home, averse to the practice and disciplines of demystification waiting to be used like crystal balls.

M. Leland Oroquieta has been a library page, draftsman, cashier, stray cat, and other things he can’t remember, while reading for a humanities course at university. He lives on a valley, near the edge of an ocean. His work has appeared or is forthcoming at The Galway Review, Cricket Online Review, Eastlit, Eunoia Review, Ink Sweat & Tears, Local Nomad, Lunaris Review, Origins Journal, Otoliths, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Bombus Press, and Zeroflash.
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