In this "climatic" scene, Lorenzo begins by fiercely resisting to recall the poet in himself while Erminia fights to liberate Lorenzo from his denial and at the same time, satisfy Orpheus' demand that she must first make Lorenzo a poet again before he returns the Sirens' voices to them. Her plan -- something along the lines of death, rebirth and homeric sex.
Lorenzo just kept shaking his head and shouting, "No!" With a desperate twist of her wrist, Erminia freed one hand and, grabbing Lorenzo by the lock of white hair, jerked his head toward her face, and planted her mouth over his.
It was unfair and she knew it.
Even a frozen poet must thaw a little in a siren's embrace. Erminia's kiss, like her voice, was unique; salty with the saliva of the ocean and acidic with the vinegar of exile. From the tip of her tongue, Erminia deposited words on the roof of Lorenzo s mouth and he swallowed them as a man dying of thirst sucks at the dew. He stopped struggling and Erminia laid her other hand against his cheek, while her fingers threaded through the lock of white hair. Lorenzo closed his arms around her waist and held her tightly.
Erminia pulled her head away, gently breaking the kiss. Lorenzo's eyes remained closed, his lips parted. She waited for him to open his eyes.
He did, slowly. But there was no joy in them. A terrible sadness lingered in his dark pupils, and she read his disappointment as he gazed at her, taking in the contours of her rough face.
"I am not Cecilia," she said.
"No," he sighed heavily. "And you are very ugly. Yet, you make me feel so strange." He rolled off Erminia and lay in the sand gazing up at the dusky afternoon sky.
Erminia chuckled. "Bread has a hard, brown crust, Lorenzo. But inside, it's soft, white, and pure. You feel strange because you look at my face and you see the crust. In my kiss, you can taste what's hidden inside."
Lorenzo slapped a hand to his forehead. "I don't understand anything any more. I must be going mad.""
"A beginning at last!" Erminia answered.
"It feels like the end." Read more >>>