Someplace in Paris. I’ve never been, but a man I know has. In a room overlooking a junction riddled with trash, the man strips naked. Bag of bones. Pale. Acne. Limbs unattractive but a sense of charisma to iron out the creases. I was never there, but he described it to me almost perfectly with words stained by nicotine and black coffee. The bed is made. The sheets are damp. Sheets chewed by rats now dead. The fat, plump kind wearing tiny berets with whiskers as thick as frogs legs. They’re dead like the remains of lust. Like the scent of the woman he once loved more than God. The woman is no more, much like God. In drunken moments now resigned to the trash cans of life, the shadow of his younger self guides her virgin fingers so they tickle his prostate. Their bare feet move the dust on unvarnished floorboards. Their little piggy toes squealing unashamedly. He discovered such pleasures with a man. He never told me this. I found out, though. I always do. He has loose lips. Even looser when whetted with alcohol. He spilled the beans to the trees one day when he was in the park after work watching the parade. Or should I say, watching the girl who happened to be performing in the parade. That’s where he finds them. The trees tell me everything. In that room, he trims her painted nails; nails painted the same pinky strain as the exposed muscle between her legs. She has a name, but you don’t need to hear it. In stories like these, a body without a face is all that’s required. When he’s satisfied, he smears them with grease. To the knuckle. Thick and gloopy, like chips covered in gravy—a northern thing for sure. Guiding them in with his mouth against the wall and his teeth gritted tightly, those fingers touch a hidden wonder. The waters in the canals this time of year are so murky, don’t you think? So much is withheld. So much beyond the visible realm. When those fingers of hers hit the jackpot, though, everything is revealed. From those murky waters to the darkened corners of the room, the greys in him blossom into yellows, and in his belly, the sweetest of delicate itches leaves him dangling like a dandelion collapsing in the wind.