There was a lull.
She peeled her clothes off and her lips grew crooked.
Step one. Transcending.
He was vivid in her mind. Every curve, every crevice.
The hollow of his hip, a path carved in bone.
The scent of his musk.
She closed her eyes. She was climbing.
Flashes of light caught her breath.
Gasping for air. Strands of hair sticky on her sweaty skin.
The sky grew closer. She let out a sigh.
She could see the end, the spot where she would jump.
Her heart raced faster. She held her breath. Her back arched and she let out a cry. Liquid purple and blue and pink trickled down her thighs.
Time stood still.
Then she jumped and dove into the little death.
La petite mort, French for “the little death”, is a reference for sexual orgasm. More widely, it can refer to the spiritual release that comes with orgasm, or a short period of melancholy or transcendence.
Mentioned briefly in Jean Rhys ‘Wide Sargasso Sea’ as Rochester talks of his sexual relationship with his new wife.
“Then try, try, say die and watch me die.’ ‘Die then! Die! I watched her die many times”