AUGUST 12, Paris:

We visit the BHV department store to buy each other little presents.

You, pointing to a pair of kid gloves, inky black, asking the sales girl: Could we see those, please?

You, turning to me: Right hand.

I hold out my hand. The glove slips on like a second skin.

You: Left hand.

You, admiring: Aren’t you dapper. Now, you’re ready to drive again. If we can just find you a monocle…

We purchase a folding Laguiole knife for future picnics. Its juniper handle glows from within.

I bring you to the rayon lingerie where we discover other items…

—–

Outside, the heat rises.

Me: Could I buy you an ice cream?

You: Absolutely.

I pull you close and we stroll down to the Ile Saint Louis. Midway across the Seine, we lean against the railing, watch the boats.

You: Remind me of the signal, again?

Me: Like this.

I exhale and whistle three descending notes. You repeat.

Me: Perfect.

We come to Berthillon. A placard out front announces several dozen flavors of sorbet and ice cream.

Me, underlining ‘caramel au beurre salé’ with a finger, remembering our first meeting: Look. This is the place for us.

You, complicitous: Hmmm. Let’s taste something new.

We share a black currant sorbet. We find a bench, and you drape your legs over mine.

I hold the cone, and we bring our heads in close, licking from opposite sides.

Me, noting it’s dark pink, whispering: The same color as the walls at the museum.

You: I guess we should take that as a good omen.

My tongue contracts from the sorbet’s tart flavor, then the after-impression of cold remains on my pallet.

The ice cream starts to melt and a thin stream runs down my hand. You bring your tongue further down, delicately lick my fingers.

——

Squeezing through the skylight up on the roof. We have our first picnic.

Paris arrayed below us. Cardinal points of Sacré Coeur and the Eiffel Tower.

Victuals hobo’d together in a blanket. I pull out the Laguiole knife, cut a thick slice of sausage, peel away the skin with the blade.

I pour two glasses of warm rosé and drop ice in, listen to it crack. Watch microscopic bubbles froth.

The sausage is hearty, simple. I rub my lips together, register the meat’s fatty residue then cut it with the wine.

We stand and you pull me to the roof’s edge. We lean against the single metal band of the railing. I breath and ignore the void.

The rungs of a ladder, set in concrete, recede in a line down the wall below our feet.

There is a gap of six feet between the top rung and where we stand.

Across a roof top and forty feet below stands the Musee Gustave Moreau.

You, pointing to the museum: Salome is right in there.

Me, thinking of your wish: Yes.

You, looking down: And this is where I’ll hang the rope.

Me: Yes.

Then we sit, our legs dangling over the edge, like kids at the pool ready to slip in.

The Eiffel Tower lights up in white. I lie back and stare at the sky of sunset, streaked with color, thinking of tomorrow.

I feel your hand against my thigh, then moving up and pulling at my zipper, bringing me out. I am too anxious now, only mildly aroused.

You: I’d like another ice cream cone.

Me: I think the shop is closed.

You pull at my shirt, and your hair cascades across my bare stomach. Your tongue runs against the head of my cock.

You: Mmm. Maybe I’ll settle for this lollipop.

You: Remind me of the signal again?

I whistle the three descending notes as I feel the head of my cock immersed in the warmth of your mouth.

Me, releasing to pleasure: Let’s hear you now.

You, pausing for a moment, pulling away: Let me finish my desert first.

I whistle the notes again, concentrate on the sweep of your hair against my skin, the heat of metal on my back.

My feet dangling, heels pressed against the wall. I rotate my hips upward, but you hold me in place with a palm to my balls.

You, bringing your tongue in lazy circles around the tip of my cock: Lollipops are said to be a choking hazard.

Your nails dig into my side, distract me momentarily, make me gasp in pain.  Then you slide my cock down your throat and squeeze.

My head swings back and forth, eyes squinting, registering blur of trees, ochre of chimneys, some cloud somewhere.

When I come, I have half-blacked out. Your lips are at mine, moist. The salt of your tongue mixes with the pepper of my sperm.

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