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Note that the poetry in this story is original to the author. It’s owned by the story author.
I kiss the dew from your lips,
pausing to revel in the moonlight
glistening on the yielding treasure of you,
anticipating the paradise of
the cool of the desert night yielding to the melting sun.
“Do not tarry, my love,” you murmur.
“I see the oasis and the flow of the fountain
just ahead, just there, nearly within reach.
I am almost there.
Come with me.”
Over you, around you, inside you,
I resume the journey to paradise.
Over you, around you, inside you,
we ride, ride, ride from the desert of mounted desire
toward the oasis of erupting release.
The plane hit a bit of turbulence and the paper the poetry was written on fluttered to the floor. It took me a bit of digging to retrieve it and slip it back into my notebook. I’d only read the stanzas I had because it had slipped into my lap earlier. Turning toward the window, I could still see the quilt-like pattern of the towns and fields of southern France. We were still climbing in altitude in the flight from Paris to Cairo, though, and it wouldn’t be long until we were too far up in the atmosphere’s vapor to see land even on a day this clear.
I don’t know why I brought the poem with me. I intended to leave it at home. I’m not sure how it got left in the notebook I was taking. It was even more a mystery why I was going to this symposium on Arab literature in Cairo. I had declined earlier invitations to return to Cairo. I’d intended on never going back—back to the man, Afram Garfeh, the famed Egyptian poet, who had penned this poem two decades earlier. For me.
Afram hadn’t invited me to the symposium—as far as I knew—but surely he’d be there and he’d know that I was coming. We had conversed over the years, certainly—initially by mail, lately by e-mail. Although the e-mail communications had lost the intimacy of the letters. Afram didn’t use the Internet. One of his students acted as a contact go-between. He was a leader in the field of Arab literature internationally, and I taught at Colombia. I can’t deny that I was being well served by having studied with him and having contact with him now.
Each year he sent a promising student to me for mentoring. This year it was Samir. Always a young, handsome Egyptian male. I did provide them mentoring, and they all had gone on to good academic positions of their own. Afram was quite discerning and exacting in who he sent to me. To my colleagues, I was providing guidance and placement help, but Afram, who sent them, and the young men themselves knew there was much more involved.
Afram says it was because of what I had meant to him, what I had given him.
I was almost afraid to see him now—likewise because of what I had given him, and how he had used me when we didn’t have an ocean to separate us. He must be close to seventy, I suddenly thought, as I read over the opening stanzas of his poem again.
I had been barely twenty-one when I arrived at the American University in Cairo, then on Tahir Square, now further out in what was called New Cairo. I was a child prodigy, already working on my doctorate in literature, needing to improve my Arabic so that I could specialize in Arabic literature. Afram was a legend in the field even then.
He was a god to me.
I was a virgin to the ways of man sex, and within two weeks of studying under him, mesmerized by his reading of his own poetry, I was lying under him on the studio couch in his university office and panting and sobbing as he clutched my buttocks to him and pushed inside me, breached my ring, and slow pumped me deeply. He was a gentle lover—at least at first—but, using my hero worship and my naïveté, he had taken what he wanted from me. And he had conditioned me to want it too.
He was a virile man in those days, one needing the attention of a young man to write that special poetry that found its way into the private collections of special collectors, and he fucked me, initially on his office couch but later in his traditional-style home, almost daily for the year and a half I was with him.
By the time I left him and returned to the States, I was as jaded and needy as he was.
The plane lurched a bit and the piece of paper slid out onto my lap again. I lifted it and read a few more stanzas before tucking it away.
“Just ahead!” you cry out.
“See it there?”
The flash of sunlight, the searing heat.
The cry in the night.
“Take me there, Love! Come with me!”
Over you, around you, inside you,
faster, faster we ride,
reaching out for the shelter of the oasis ahead,
of the fountain, the cool waters afterglow.
Over you, around you, inside you.
“Do you see it not?” you cry out.
“The searing sun! The fountain!
We ride together, Love! It’s there; it’s here! It’s now!”
The searing sun of your journey’s end explodes,
fountains, to your melting into the cool gaziantep escort embrace of the oasis.
I couldn’t help but smile. After that first time, Afram had not touched me for two weeks. He had apologized, and, in shock, I don’t think I reacted much at all. I knew that was my inclination and had known it for some time. But I hadn’t had the courage to pursue my feelings.
Who would have known that the reading of erotic poetry by the poet himself could seduce me as easily as Afram Garfeh had?
After two weeks, in which I went from fear and self-condemnation and the feeling of being trapped in an alien land under the control of a man who took everything he wanted from me to the extreme, I slowly worked my way into waiting for his call. Without seeking it myself, I anticipated the opportunity to be alone with him again in his office, for him to demand that I attend him, or to ask me to lie under him. In the last days, while he continued to make me stew, I needed him just to look at me with affection and crook his finger at me.
He asked me, along with the other members of my study group, to a traditional Egyptian meal in his home. His home was of ancient style, in an exclusive section Cairo, on the island of Gezirah, in the Nile between Old Cairo and Giza, land of the pyramids. It was a compound of four sides, a blank wall to the street, with an atrium in the center squared in with columned passageways. The atrium was a veritable oasis that served Garfeh, a widower even then with several young male servants, as both living and dining area as the weather permitted. There was a cooling pool in the center, with a fountain. Palm trees surrounded the pool, indeed giving the space the feeling of being an oasis.
I was asked to stay after the others had left. We sat, close, side by side, on a couch beside the pool. He was wearing the traditional Egyptian robe, a gallibaya, and I was in Western wear, a white cotton shirt and dark trousers, with sandals. Embracing me with one arm, he unbuttoned my shirt and palmed my breast and we kissed several times, each time more deeply than the one before. I knew he was going to fuck me again, and I was relieved to know that I held favor with him still. He recited a poem to me, a poem he said he had just begun, the first three stanzas of this very poem I was reading for the umpteenth time in the plane over southern France.
I knew he was going to fuck me there on the couch by his pool, and, of course, he did. I opened my legs to him without a whimper.
He pulled away from me but only long enough to lift the gallibaya over his head. He was naked under the robe. Thick-bodied, but mostly muscled, in upward-curved erection. He moved his embracing arm under my arm pits and I lay back, my shirt brushed open, as his lips and tongue moved from the hollow of my neck down to my nipples. His free hand slid down my belly, unzipped my trousers, found my cock, and possessed me.
His lips went to mine and we kissed as he slowly stroked my cock to an erection. He was taking me more slowly now. He had first taken me quickly, and I had been so surprised and overwhelmed that I had come almost immediately and then had just lain there, collapsed and barely conscious, as he had fucked on to his own ejaculation. Now he was taking his time.
We disengaged from the kiss and, looking into my eyes and still stroking my cock, he recited the three stanzas of the poem I had just reread. When he reached the line “The searing sun of your journey’s end explodes,/fountains, to your melting into the cool embrace of the oasis,” I erupted into an ejaculation.
He held me there, tenderly, as I moaned and my trembling slowly subsided. Then we spoke in a low voice.
“I wish for you to be my assistant in a project. I am having difficulty finishing this poem. I wish you to help me with it—with your body.”
“It’s a powerful poem already,” I whispered.
“It is more poetic in Arabic. When you are conversant, you must read it in Arabic. But do you understand the poem? Do you understand why I have reached an impasse with it?”
“No, Mudarres, I don’t.”
“How does it end at this point?”
“With an ejaculation. The receiver’s ejaculation.”
“True, but is that what the lovers want?”
“I don’t understand. What do they want?”
“The young receiver says, ‘Take me there, Love! Come with me!’ What is the goal of these lovers, of this poem?”
I thought for a moment, and he let me do so, holding me close to his naked body, his erection rubbing against my now-bare thigh, his hand gliding over my body, making my cock start to reengorge.
“Is it that they want to come together?”
“Yes, and that is what I want as well, with you, so that I can bring this poem to conclusion.”
He gently pushed me down on my back on the couch, then, my left leg bent, my foot on the stone of the patio. He turned and rose and brought his left leg up on the couch beside my right thigh and hooked my right leg over his thigh. He slowly entered my channel with his curved cocked.
And fucked me and fucked me and fucked me.
I came the second time several minutes before he did.
“No matter; there is time,” he whispered to me. Then, after we had rested a bit, he turned and sat on the side of the couch. He reached over and lifted me by the waist with his strong hands, and lowered me on his cock, facing away from him. Running his hands down the underside of each of my legs, he lifted and spread them. I raised my arms and locked my fists behind his neck.
He fucked me, raising and lowering me on the cock in ever faster motion. That time we came closer together but not together.
I smiled at how hard we had tried that time—he so that he could complete his poem; me to please him.
I couldn’t help it. The memory of how hard we tried amused me, even today. I now had the urge to read more of the poem. I pulled it out of the notebook. This time it didn’t have to force itself on me.
Over you, around you, inside you. Still.
I ride you still as a camel relentlessly undulates across the sands,
seeking for myself your paradise,
the oasis, the fountain, the cooling waters.
Riding you, riding you, riding you.
And seeing my own oasis ahead,
I ride harder, faster,
Through the searing heat and the flowing fountain,
To my own paradise—
and our shared sighs.
We never did come together, no matter how hard we tried, in that year and a half. I was always too anxious and he didn’t think about anyone but himself enough to discover how to hold me off. But we both did come each time.
He did finish the poem, of course. He was too good a poet not to finish it, although it could not flow down to the conclusion he had anticipated. And I didn’t think the poem suffered from the march to a new ending. In fact, I found it more poignant, more human. In its own way more resilient and hopeful.
I glanced down to read the end of the poem, but the announcement came onto the speaker that we were circling for a landing in Cairo. I slid the poem back into the pages of the notebook—deep enough so that it now wouldn’t slide out; the poem was too precious to me to lose—and turned my head to the window. I had not seen Cairo for so long; I wanted to drink in as much of the city from the air as I could as we landed.
I would finish rereading the poem later, in my hotel room, as I contemplated meeting my old lover, Afram Garfeh, face-to-face again, after more than two decades.
* * * *
“My name is Adjo,” he said, his hazel eyes with the long, black eyelashes lowered demurely. “The Mudarres, the teacher, Mudarres Afram said that you were to use me as you will.”
I wondered if Afram had rehearsed the young man who had met me at the plane in Cairo to word it exactly that way. I knew it was likely Afram would be providing me a companion during my stay—unless he had retained enough prowess at his age to use me himself—and there was every reason to believe that Adjo was the one chosen. Assuming so, Afram had chosen strangely, but arousingly. Adjo was so much more delicate—and as beautiful as a woman—than the young men Afram had been sending me to mentor at Colombia. And in that difference, I was more fully aroused.
He had been standing there, a shy and calm oasis in the teeming sea of raucous humanity at the arrivals’ gate, holding up a placard with my name—my given name—on it. Mr. Gordon. He was dressed in a loose-fitting, billowing white dress shirt, dark trousers, and open-toed sandals, just as I had been when I started classes with Afram Garfeh at the American University in Cairo over two decades earlier.
He was dark, his features olive-brown, his hair jet black. And he was beautiful—beyond handsome. Small of stature, willowy, the image of innocence. I wondered how innocent he really was—or if he at least could feign innocence when he was writhing under me.
Afram had known just how to tantalize me, how to get my juices going. This was one of two approaches I had contemplated he would use. If he was still sexually active—even at his age—I had thought that either one of his female students or one of the other professors attached to the symposium would meet me. By sending someone like Adjo, I believed I was being given an entirely different message.
“You know that I’ll be staying at the Nile Hilton—well, the Nile Hotel, which used to be the Hilton,” I told Adjo as my luggage was being placed in the trunk of the taxi. Afram had told me the Nile Hotel, now owned by the Ritz-Carlton chain, was no longer the best, but it was familiar to me and thus a comfort.
“My understanding is that it will be only for the night,” Adjo said. “I believe the Mudarres would like you to stay with him. But he did tell me to take you to the hotel, that he will speak to you there.”
I didn’t know that “speak to you there” would mean that Afram himself would be waiting for me in the lobby of the hotel, but he was. On the taxi ride from the airport, Adjo had sat beside me in back and peered at me from under lowered eyebrows with a shy smile like a blushing bride, and I was looking forward to taking him right up to my room and fucking the stuffing out of him, but Afram being in the lobby threw a wrench into that forming plan. That was probably a good thing, though. I was exhausted not only from the Paris-to-Cairo flight but also from the hours I’d put in beforehand in preparing for my presentation the next day at the writing symposium.
“You must come stay with me. I’m afraid this hotel will no longer be to your standards,” Afram said after we had warmly greeted each other, including with a kiss that was far from chaste. He was wearing the traditional gallibaya and sandals and nothing else that I could discern, and he was embracing me close enough for me to know that he still could get an erection. It remained to be experienced—perhaps—if he could hold an erection or make use of it. He stood, stooped, in one place while we talked, and leaned onto a cane in each hand when he wasn’t clutching me.
“I booked here,” I said, “So I should at least spend one night here, although I am honored by your invitation.” I didn’t chance to add that he hadn’t offered an invitation to stay with him before I arrived here. I might have declined the symposium invitation if he had. I had been completely under his spell at one time and I wasn’t anxious to be so again. “And I am weary from the trip and the preparations for the symposium and have a paper to deliver there tomorrow, so I should go directly to bed.”
“Need to start your sleep immediately?” Afram said. “I that case, I will take Adjo back with me to my house and I will see you at the symposium tomorrow morning.”
He had emphasized taking Adjo back.
“Adjo will be at my residence for when you decide to come to me there. I have asked him to assist you during your stay here, by the way, in all ways you may need him.”
Afram couldn’t be any clearer than that. First, yes, he was providing Adjo for me to fuck. But, second, it would be at his house. I had almost forgotten that Afram was as much a voyeur as he was a direct participant. In the last half year I was with him here in Cairo, he had given me to friends and to various muscle-bound younger men he met in the Greco-Roman wrestling gymnasiums. He liked to watch.
Somewhat regretfully, I said my good-byes to Afram and Adjo, checked in, went to my room, and, after a brief shower, went to sleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. So, it was a good thing that I wasn’t succumbing to Afram’s plans yet anyway.
I got my crack at Adjo—and Afram, for that matter—the next evening. The first day at the symposium wasn’t a grueling one—probably on purpose, because so many had come in from out of Egypt. We started late in the morning and ended in time to have an extended cocktail hour—this time at the Ramses Hilton, which was, I will admit, by far superior to the Nile Hotel in amenities, if not in location and memories. I wasn’t quite in tune with the new Cairo I was finding upon my much-delayed return. During the day, Afram devoted little attention to me at all—he was constantly the center of attention of other symposium attendees—whereas Adjo was at my elbow and within sight of me all day. He moved like a dancer, and I must admit that most of the day was spent suffering an erection and daydreaming about “later.” In his touches and his looks at me, Adjo was signaling an anticipation of “later,” as well. I was being left no reason to misunderstand his expectation of being used by me.
We returned to Afram’s house on Gezirah island, in the car the university assigned Afram in respect for his position, after stopping at the nearby Nile Hotel to pick up my luggage. It was dark when we arrived, but a warm, cloudless night. We ate a dinner served to me with meaningful glances and fleeting touches by Adjo, wearing a white cotton gallibaya, in the central oasis-like atrium, which was lit by torches on the columns and underwater lights in the pool. Afram also was wearing a gallibaya, made out of a finer, silky cloth. He hadn’t changed his traditional clothing ways since I had studied under him.
Two other young, handsome Egyptian men served us as well. Afram and I sat across from each other on couches. Adjo mainly served me and the other two mainly served Afram, who was free with his hands under their gallibayas while they served. When Adjo came near him, though, he was strictly hands off.
Adjo clearly was for me. Jaded as I was, that was fine with me. After our supper, when one of the young men serving Afram began to service him as well, his head under Afram’s gallibaya while Afram sat facing me on his couch, Adjo came and stood demurely in front of me, sitting on my couch.
He had brought a small bowl of some sort of rice pudding—we had already had a fruit course, He stood close in front of me and when I spread my thighs apart, he pressed in even closer. He fed me the thick pudding, with his fingers, until I couldn’t hold off anymore. I took the bowl from him and set it on a small table within my reach. I then grasped his gallibaya, bunching up fists full of material at the waist on either side, and pulled it over his head.
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