We rehearse using bamboo sticks and faces painted on paper plates, strands of barbed wire wrapped loosely around the trunk of these effigies some two hours before the procession is to begin, before the trumpet fanfare erupts from somewhere in the back of the crowd and threatens to overwhelm the entire production. Special attention gets paid to the way the letters look, what color they are and in what order they appear, just as if we are afraid they will begin to organize themselves into ever more complex patterns and leave us behind to attempt to sort through our experience using little more than beads. And a memory of something called the cosmos dissolving around its own edges like a copper coin soaking in bleach. I know the plane is going down, I know we have no hope of staying aloft as soon as I set my eyes on the fuselage, before I ever even step on board. It’s the same as we saw previously covered in vines. Not the same type, the same one. And we are, of course, the skeletons strapped in the seats. The realization doesn’t horrify, doesn’t send a shudder through my body like an eel as it is supposed to, but beckons strangely. Coos from wherever it originated in the voice of Eulalie which is deep and melodic and possessed of scent, of almond and ozone, even when it is disembodied. All these days and months later, it has forgone the use of words, turns them into empty shells for the purpose of striking them, of letting the echoes resonate within each one separately and then releasing them to combine with and magnify all the others through some manner of catastrophe, of violence like that you remember from a time when you had just begun to discover the parameters of your own body. The demarcations and that odd concept space, and you felt the need to solidify both the one and the other forever in your mind by caressing them with your hand and, later, your tongue. By making a kind of primitive love to them as one might make love to another person simply because that other person is present, because he or she has turned up in the bed or in the alleyway unbidden except maybe in subconscious response to that part of yourself that rails against nothing, that abhors the darkness and the all-encompassing silence (that silence that seems to peak, oddly enough, when other people are speaking) and doesn’t care finally that any apparition it succeeds in forging, any voice and any flesh, is bound to be frozen at its center the way your own flesh is when you attempt to touch it in the mirror. When you try and fail to peel it away with your fingers, to detach and pull out of you whatever pristine object has been cowering inside by tugging at the gore that keeps it anchored. The bleeding strings and ligaments you tear loose eventually in your senseless spasming hands.
* end ore / begin appendix