Not a number in a sonnet series
like the Bard’s, not some kind
of topsy-turvy palindrome that reads
nearly the same in either direction:
my age. 69. Reluctantly, I add
you to the weight of my life.
But I came across you years ago,
In a different context,
a much younger time.
1947, if my memory serves,
in a Casablanca hotel room.
She was a French woman
I’d met in a Rue de la Guerre bar.
Colette, black hair, brown eyes,
ivory skin, body by early Titian,
and drenched in Shalimar.
From Marseilles, she said.
I would have guessed Rabat.
Her English was fractured,
my French atrocious,
still we wound up in bed
sans pudeur in lust, naming body parts.
She would point. I would point.
I’d say it in English.
She’d follow with the French.
tit – poitrine. mouth – bouche.
belly – ventra. nose – nez.
Hers was nez camus. tongue – langue.
navel – nombril. nipple – mamelon.
cunt – mimi. prick – zizi.
And balls were testicules.
We laughed, thrashed around the bed,
grew excited as we groped.
Then she tossed me a tricky one.
“We do soixante neuf?”
That didn’t sound like a body part,
so I said, “What’s that?”
“I show you.” She turned
and straddled me, her mimi
inches from my face. She took my zizi in her bouche,
and pressed her crotch to my lips.
We did soixante neuf.
69: fraught with sexual symbolism,
the final sexagesimal year,
if you’ll pardon the pun.
I came across you long ago
and I can say – sadly –
that doing 69 and being 69
are completely different experiences.

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