Christopher D DiCicco
Man from the Sun
The Man from the Sun thought it ridiculous people believed in a man from the moon.
He drank a bottle of dark beer and fell asleep on Susan's couch.
Susan sat next to him awash in a soft glow.
She felt warm,
but only by proximity.
He's handsome, she thought, in an illuminated way.
The Man from the Sun buzzed orange.
Often for days.
When awake, the Man from the Sun had white fire for eyes.
Those eyes looked like twin stars,
miniature and burning,
in their own galaxy.
Susan imagined herself a rocket, orbiting them, but didn't know how to tell the Man from the Sun she wanted to explore him.
Earlier that day, the Man from the Sun had kind of just you know walked into Susan's house, like the morning sun coming through your window.
At first Susan couldn't see, what with the light pouring in, but the intensity died down like an overly sad goodbye.
"I burn easily," the Man from the Sun said.
"Oh no, my couch," Susan said.
There was a glare.
The couch didn't burst into flames and the Man from the Sun had to explain he burned out easily, in that, his existence was like that of a candle flame. One puff of strong wind and he snuffed out like an elephant baby born in a zoo.
Mother elephants in the wild protected their young.
In captivity, a mother, zoo'd and confused, left her child to graze in the hay of the feeders who ate McDonalds and complained of the Philadelphian weather.
And they always died, the babies.
Susan wasn't sure about the elephants though.
The Man from the Sun said he couldn't stay.
Susan said, "I've never met anyone I wanted to love more than you. You're shining."
And he was.
The Man from the Sun burned for Susan, and she covered her eyes.
The light came from his chest.
Susan thought maybe it was his heart, a small volcano of energy, erupting forth with beams of white across her living room floor.
"Don't leave," she told the Man from the Sun.
"Listen," he told her. Bright light poured from his mouth.
"You think you need someone like me to show you the way, or maybe you think you'd be happier with something so bright."
Susan kept her eyes shut.
"But that's not how it works," the Man from the Sun went on. "That's not what makes you happy in the end."
Susan couldn't see.
She tried to open her eyes, but the Man from the Sun was too radiant, and perfect.
"I can be intense," the Man from the Sun said.
It was a bad joke.
"It doesn't matter," she said. "Have you ever been to the zoo?"
The Man from the Sun stared at Susan.
She bit her bottom lip and closed her eyes tighter.
The Man from the Sun said, "Why don't you open your eyes and look at me?"
Susan's shirt hung slack on her shoulders, her sneakers rubbed against each other.
"I can't," she said.
"It doesn't matter," the Man from the Sun said.
"You're right," Susan said.
and it was brilliant,
rays of sun reflecting,
out of her
Years before, a man kissed Susan in her backyard and told her to look at the moon. He said, "There's a man there, and he's probably in love with you."
in the moonlight.
A year after the kiss, there was no moon, no sun, no him, only Susan and the light above the operating table. She was alone and the nurse told her to push.
She panted, like an elephant baby trying to breathe.
She pushed, and there was no crying.
except for Susan who hid her face in the stiff hospital pillow—
and closed her eyes.
"How much would he've weighed?" Susan asked.
The nurse didn't think it was good to know that, though, and she pulled Susan's blanket over her, telling her other things like, "It's supposed to snow, can you believe that?" and "Philadelphia is the worst in the winter, so dark," and "Try not think about it, keep resting."
Things like that,
that hurt Susan so much.
She didn't want to think about them.
She didn't think she could.
The Man from the Sun stepped outside.
"I have to leave now," he said.
"Don't," said Susan.
The Man from the Sun opened his mouth and beams of glowing white energy poured out.
Susan felt them against her chest.
It was warm,
more so than a hospital blanket.
"Really, I can't stay. It's complicated, and really you don't need me to stay," he said.
"I don't need you to stay," Susan said, "I want you to."
"Are you sure there's a difference?"
Susan thought about it, "You never told me if you've been to the zoo."
"No, I didn't," said the Man from the Sun.
"Did you know three years ago, they decided to stop keeping elephants? They couldn't care for them, that the babies kept dying."
The Man from the Sun shined.
"But that's not why they did it," Susan told him. "It was because of the mothers. After the last baby died, I went to visit, and the mother, she cradled this small dirt grey boulder the whole time. The handlers couldn't get her to put it down. They said she was confused."
The Man from the Sun stepped closer to Susan and she could feel him, the fading warmth of dusk. She barely moved.
"All the visitors avoided her. No one wanted to see that."
"What did you do?" The Man from the Sun flared. "Did you keep your eyes shut like you're doing now?"
This hurt Susan,
and she tried,
When the Man from the Sun saw her standing there, awash in his glow, squinting and crying at the same time, he changed his mind.
"Listen," he said, "I really can't stay with you the way you want, but I can stay. Kind of. If that makes sense. Does it?"
"Not at all."
"People from the Sun, we are the sun. It's all of us up there burning together. It only looks like it's just one thing all alone in the sky.
"What about us together? What about making our life?" Susan asked.
The Man from the Sun didn't have an answer. He wish he had one, but he didn't. Instead, at that moment he grew brighter,
burned more intense,
small sun, which didn't leave Susan.
The tiny ball of energy, a life burning in love, made Susan its galaxy of choice, orbiting her in small circles,
like a young woman,
with eyes open,
Christopher D. DiCicco
was born in Pennsylvania during the winter of 1981. He lives by a canal and writes fiction in his attic. Someone once said, "Hey, that's hybrid." His work has appeared in such places as Atticus Review, Superstition Review, Cheap Pop, Psychopomp
. His collection comes out next fall (Hypertrophic Press