… وارتفع الصحرا?

With a pungent heady mix of earthy tones and wild jasmine, the hot dry air of the desert wind came through the open window and over my naked back, still moist from his physical desire to be as deep within me as nature would allow. Before the darkness of exhaustion overtook us, somewhere in the distance of this ancient city amongst the noises of the souq below, a wizen voice of the Mu’adhdhin calling the faithful to prayer from the one of the four intricately hand-carved granite minarets that frame this city. Having already worshiped at the feet of carnal pleasures for a few months now, we drifted off to the comfortable deep, satisfying sleep that comes with release, and left the prayers to the more devout, older men.

I dream of rain/I dream of gardens in the desert sand/I wake in vain/I dream of love as time runs through my hand/I dream of fire/those dreams are tied to a horse that will never tire/and in the flames the shadows play in the shape of a man’s desire/this desert rose/each of his veils, a secret promise/this desert flower/no sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this.

Nearer to the magic hour, I watched him walk towards the shower. Dark buzzed hair, the velvety kind, fiery tattoos that crept up from his dark skin inked with black glyphs of his sexuality and religion entwined into a primal acclimation of his identity as a soldier. Watching him, watch me from the shower, his grin told me that we were going to have a particularly evocative late night, exploring his city dense with clouds of charcoal smoke which rise from the griddles of makeshift kitchens, set up here each evening to cook everything from kebabs of kefta or merguez sausages to the pastries eaten with strong coffee. Pulled into the crushing crowds amongst the narrow stalls of the market he would hold my hand in defiance of an arduous and lustful infatuation but under a masque of direction.

And as he turns/This way he moves in the logic of all my dreams/this fire burns/I realise that nothing’s as it seems/I dream of rain/I dream of gardens in the desert sand/I wake in vain/I dream of love as time runs through my hand/I dream of rain/I lift my gaze to empty skies above/I close my eyes/this rare perfume is the sweet intoxication of his love.

This is dangerous; I’m playing with fire. We should stop, go home. But he’s too cute and I can never say no to him. He’s got big hands. We turn around looking for a place to stop, he grabs my arm, pulls me inside. We’re in a bathroom. We’re making out. He’s on his knees. I’m going to hell. My head back, my face an impenetrable mask devoid of emotions as I look down at his thick fat cock in his left hand, mine in the other. I can hear the women outside talking about the specials in the market place, Cedarwood incense burning heavy in the room above us – one we can see through the cracked uncarpeted floorboards. He turns me around, grabs me by the neck and finishes pleasing himself with that grin.

I dream of rain/I dream of gardens in the desert sand/I wake in vain/I dream of love as time runs through my hand/sweet desert rose/each of his veils, a secret promise/this desert flower/no sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this/sweet desert rose/This memory of Eden haunts us all/this desert flower/this rare perfume, is the sweet intoxication of the fall.

I hear the knock, then the silent screaming of his mother as the words take a lifetime to reach her heart. Her son is dead and the years past between us are erased. Like a rusted scythe ready to strike out into the midnight air the crescent moon heralds a warm wind, heavy with wild jasmine and unfulfilled promises of a life half-lived. Overwhelmed, I fall to my knees as if struck to prayer, but in truth merely deaf and dumb in the realisation. And there, prostrating to no particular deity I cried out as my eunuch heart shattered once again and the memories of a failed love pierced my corporeal body like shrapnel. Wracking sobs lost in the vastness of the desert as my mouth fills with rivulets of arid loam that chokes the senses.

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