To Kiss the World Through a Veil of Lead


These limbs are not yours and these appendages are not yours; these organs are made out of brittle remnants of aeons past and are nothing but dust that has been given temporary purpose. You rise: a ready-made consciousness of fragments of fossilised leftovers from other consciousnesses. You rise: a ready-made body, an unwieldy object charged by chance.

You move with difficulty and you feel with distance. Whatever you touch is from another's perspective: you scrape at things with a stoney limb; you watch as it decays, pieces of yourself crumbling. The misshapen jumble of your existence drags itself inelegantly through landscapes that scream your origins in languages you cannot understand. You trudge along; you experience existence through a solid shroud, with bondaged limbs that only half-obey your commands.

To feel with organs that are not yours is to kiss the world through a veil of lead. This layer of decay-encrusted old rock buried deep within the mantle of gravity-rich stone is only the skin you inhabit; you are the alien within your body; your body is not a body, but an assemblage of involuntary objects. You were not born, you coalesced.

You try touching something again, and it still feels distant. You take a step, your limb falls down — you try to reattach it. Unsuccessful, you throw it away and pick another from the ground; you are changed and your feelings feel unfamiliar. But still far, still away. You eventually remake yourself completely, piece by piece, and your mind follows the changes capriciously; the distant sound of echo, the remote images of stars, the secluded and raspy enchantment of radiation. Once, these ghosts were yours, but now they disappear within the complex play of mirror images that you use to move towards the receding world.