Slipping from sleep to wakefulness is the grey between black and white. Trying to fathom the depths of that moment we crossfade between the spirit world and waking realm is like watching the sun set. At first, it is the golden hour with its magnificent artistry that only the divine can put together. Then the night comes with its inky blackness, with an insidiousness that makes the light-show a memory. It is in this transitory moment I am aware of you. You. It is more of a sensing than an awareness. It is like the tingling in your forehead just before you walk into the wall in the dark.
My eyes are reluctant to relinquish the darkness but that I do. Sensing is not enough. I watch you sift through the small pile. Seeds aside, little stalks, stubborn as fallen as Mango branches strewn in the streets back home in harmattan, to another side. The furrow of your brows matches the squint in your eyes. They also match the sturdiness of your lotus seat. Buddha would be proud.
Sticks and stones will break my bones, you said to me once, as you separated weed from chaff like you do now. You will save some of the seeds. Seven of them. Most people don’t like that the seeds pop as the heat rises.
Your masterpiece is an elongated cone like a miniature bullhorn. It reminds me of a childhood treat, caramel wrapped in paper in the same shape with a short broom stick in the wider end. As children, we didn’t know or even care, that they were named after the fingers of a military ruler long forgotten. What mattered was that ten of them were worth one Chupa Chups. Maybe it is romanticised memories but those were sepia toned days of happiness and sunshine.
You raise the bullhorn to your lips by its sides. Your tongue matches the matte red of your lips as its very tip wets the paper. The careful creation is complete. You smile as your eyes meet mine. I hate that I am so easily smiling back. You’re about to say something and then you don’t. There are two more in the platter before you. You drop the freshest creation and pick another, along with the lighter and stalk off.
You bring in smell of the cote d’azure as you open the double doors. The sounds of the distant harbour rush in from the distance as well. I muse for a second about morning wood and waking up mid-afternoon as it swings side to side when I come out to join you. I don’t look around the room. My eyes skip the shot glasses and the diminished bottle of vodka on the armoire; the black and white tiles and the white walls. They are fixed on you.
The cool air hits me as the cold marble welcomes my feet. You face away from the force of the sea air. You are a vision. Your leopard print bra and denim tennis skirt contrasts the turquoise of your toe nails and the color of the sea behind you. The tiny bullhorn is pinched firmly between your lips as you try again and again. I chuckle as I cup both my palms to make a vacuum around your cupped left palm. Strike, strike, flame. It flickers but fulfills its purpose. You drag a full breath, and then another. The seeds you have arranged in the little treat start to pop like you like it to. You say it is a euphemism for the little chains of reality that snap open in your consciousness as you imbibe.
I reach out and you share with me. I take a lung-full and let it out like a dragon. I am a naked dragon with skin the color of Agbalumo. I like how you look at me, at my body. I know you take the total piss when you look at me with longing and say I am built like a god. But it’s something good to hear. I fill my lungs again and again then I share with you. I want to say something about puff-puff and missing that oily snack. But I don’t. I smile instead at you. I love it, this shared silence. It bursts at the seams with the strength of a hundred unspoken conversations.
One moment, we’re looking at each other, the next you’re next to me. Your head rests on my shoulder with your arms around my waist. You’re nibbling at me; from my clavicle, up my neck to the bottom of my earlobe. It is as far as you can reach on your tiptoes. I stare at nothing in particular and enjoy the feel of your skin on mine everywhere.
I know it starts to hit when I feel open. Open. My pores let in more air, they let in more you. I feel every inch of my skin that yours touches come alive. This openness, it is beautiful in its simplicity.
It is not limited to my skin, but my mind is open as well. I understand. I get it. I get you. I get how you can be so misunderstood and misjudged. I get it. I get me. I get my flaws and my recurrent mistakes. I get my need to please everyone and end up hurting all the world instead.
This openness comes with understanding. It is no wonder that a whole religion endorses it and a host of people want it legitimized by the law.
I know it hits hard when my already roving mind leaps into the air. I piece together random bits of information to rein it in. Cote d’Azur is Azure Coast. My niece is nice. I’m feeling nice in Nice.
I try to remember what the ink written in arabic on your collar bone means as I trace my fingers over it. It is the same inscription as I have on the same place on my own body. Its meaning flutters on the edge of my consciousness. I assuage my agitated mind with other bits of information.
It is the newest of four engravements on the canvass that is your skin. Akan, Egyptian and Arabic. It is United Nations on your dermis. I wonder if you will get one in Kanji and complete your world expedition. You shudder as my fingertips travel up your spine to the base of your neck. I grab your hair and pull you away from your nibbling. You don’t protest as I tilt your neck a bit and drag you to the other end of the balcony.
Touch you, I say, like I would. You hesitate. I can tell you’re more used to giving orders but you do as I demand. One finger, I say. You sigh into my ear as you make contact. No, that’s enough. Don’t move. I walk away from you and back into the room. I pick up a second treat and start to burn it as I return. I don’t come back to you. You stand on the balls of your feet, one finger slipped in. It is already slick with your essence, dripping down to your knuckles.
Go on. Your eyes flutter closed. Open your eyes. You groan, but you open them still. I pause mid-drag and beckon you forth. Stop, I say. Is that how I touch you? It is rhetoric, this question. You start to answer. Shut up. Face the sea. You lean against the railings in its black ornate majesty, it supports you. You look back at me and you have a small smile. You’re daring me. Goading me. I strike your left buttcheek and then the right in quick succession. They vibrate and clap; a request for an encore. I deliver another strike. And then another. Your groans come from somewhere deep.
This tableau, it is familiar. The pirouettes and twirls of this dance are familiar and yet it crackles with the freshness of mint Naira notes. It dates where we began, where we set the parameters of what we have. I am King. Your King, with your body mind to conquer and subdue.
Go back, I say. One finger. All the way in. Back out. Only the tip. You let out a suppressed whimper. Your forefinger glistens. I fill my lungs again and raise my forefinger to my lips. Two fingers. All the way in. You seem relieved when I let you enjoy the sensations. Tip. You groan. Clearly, my finger on my lips didn’t pass the message across. I point to where you just left. Two strikes to each cheek. The second strike jolts a line of moisture like a tear that courses down your inner thigh.
Turn. I hand what’s left of our little bullhorn to you. As it passes your lips, I pass your other lips. Two fingers. I look at you pointedly. You swallow the groan. I am proud of how you hold it in, barely. Let’s see how well you handle more.
Turn. I tap the inside of your ankles with my feet. Wider. I forget for a second my royalty to you as I slip the tip in. My openness amplifies the deliciousness of this feeling. It is sheer effort to not slam into you on the first thrust. I am no savage. Not yet. I grab your hair. You groan. You have forgotten my instruction. I strike the cheek I can reach. You shudder and bite into your own arm to stifle your scream. It is wicked, but I slam in, to the hilt right at that moment. Your scream escapes lost in the air with the sounds of the coast. I strike again as I withdraw and lunge. Again and again.
It is too much, this pleasure. My eyes should be closed. I should be lost in the pleasure. But I stare over the choppy waters. And I am, lost. Lost in you. It is difficult to tell where I end and you begin. We are one automaton, a synergetic machine. I am adrift in our pleasure. I am the ruins of a blasted ship. Your insides are a survivor clinging to driftwood for life. I soar grabbing your hips and stabbing even harder than I was moments before.
I hear the sound of your cries in my head as it drowns out the sea and the gulls. With every thrust I ride the wind currents and look down over the water. I am reminded of Icarus. I come, crashing down toward the waves you make, squeezing me deep inside you.
Waters crash against rocks below us, and I bathe your insides with life.