Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Arrondissement Unknown: Paris Equinox

A clock is ticking.

I see your body’s outline before the hotel window. The traffic has thinned with the hour. A breeze curls the curtains, and slides across my skin like a ghostly lover.

(The only perfect love, in life or fiction, is love denied.)

Already naked, you approach the bed. Your eyes are everywhere. The part of me that’s been waiting so long for this—for us—falls upon their sword.

I am reborn into eggshell arms.

Are my breasts too small? Thighs too plump? My hips too too?

(The only perfect love, in life or fiction, is)

Your touch cracks my fear. You stroke my thighs with a blind man’s fingers. Flesh grips viscera, claws air. Your lips descend, testing a knee’s hairpin trigger. My toes twist around your lower spine. My mouth opens, chin tipping high.

Shadows, shadows everywhere.

Seconds s     p         r            e                a                    d

(The only perfect love, in)

Your mouth searches higher, slowing. Heat flows like a kerosene sin. Your tongue slips between my—


I clutch at sheets, your hands pinning wrists. My back arches, breasts flatten. Tears squeeze from blue, blue irises. Black-hole mouths explode into

Everywhere, stars.

(The only love)

I cry your



You hear me.


I push deeper inside you.


Your hair falls around, shielding my face from the window’s cold light. Your knees spread wider, hips grinding harder.

And, softer yet.

I can still taste you. My mouth is filled with your taste. Your lips find mine.

(touch what is mine)

Tasting, too.

Your voice breathes into my ear, baptizing me not with water, but fire. An always, surrendering fire. My nails clutch at your hips, digging you deeper into me until we both touch the heart of the pain that was always there, if hiding.

I groan.

Your scream is a silent shudder.

(touch what is not mine)

I’m choking on your hair. Your long, lovely hair. The air leaks from me, and my eyes smear over with

Stars, everywhere.

(I touch what is not mine)

I push you up. Gently. Away from me. You keep me locked inside. My fingers somewhere lose your skin. I look past your shoulder, into a hotel mirror. It reflects the white of your back in a Paris dreamlight.

I do not recognize the eyes staring back at me.

I do not

(I cannot touch what is not mine.

The clock.

The clock is ticking.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Arrondissement 7: Musée d'Orsay

“I have just one question for you, Mathieu.”

His voice could squeeze the oil from the canvases.

“What can I do to get you behind a camera again?”

I laughed one of those Hollywood laughs. Just to mess with him.

“That’s simple. Turn back the clock twenty years,” I said. “Or pay me in Manets and Van Goghs.”

I ignored the wall of Renoirs, so he followed me into the next gallery.

“Jesus," he said. "You won Best Director at Cannes. Twice! You were a national treasure. Godard’s successor. You could have been--

Footsteps falling. Like water dripping into a cistern.



I turned like a man, suddenly thirsty.


Dark hair.

Summer-scented dress.

Legs like a fractured laugh.

Color flaking off her toenails.
Electron-pink snowflakes.
Dusting the heart's eyelash.

When she stopped to examine my favorite painting in the gallery, her head tilted to the side. Her hair slipped off her neck. The lady in the painting copied her. Who wouldn't?

Her eyes slid over to brush mine with wet color.

Loud longing in a hush-hush cave
Building cresting breaking
Submission surrender squeezed

A tangled eddy of gorgeous pain
Sucking to swirl me up again

“So there’s nothing I can do to convince you?” his voice broke in.

I blinked.

Her eyes danced away. Like a pretty Degas.


She moved into the next gallery.



I let her go.

I turned to my hustler friend and put a hand on his shoulder. “Frederick, do you know what my favorite part of a film is now? And I’m talking any film.”

“What’s that?”

“Those black scratches right before the first shot.”

I let him ponder that while examining the painting her eyes had touched. Some brushstrokes earlier.

“It’s the one movie I could watch over and over again. I’ve even given it a title. Want to hear it?”

He shrugged, and glanced at his watch. While I looked toward an artless doorway.

The Greatest Story Never Told.”