This body is not a voice.This voice is not an opera.This opera is not an autopsy. My trachea is not the source of the wind that makes your hairflutter just so. Just so. In the autumn, there is a rumor that buzzes through the kingdom of insects. Static & fuzz & fucking & drugs– a hymn is whatever sound you make in the pursuit of pure ecstasy. If god is real, then she is a being that built me for believing that pleasure is a name cried out just to feel it reverberate through the calcified parts of my body. Oh Lord, if there is a season for disappearing then it is measured in glaciation, in rising tides, in limestone dissolving. Take me to the cave with paintings depicting a moment in history, when it was impossible for humanity to imagine living beyond the body’s ability to function. Lascaux,Chauvet, Altamira. Expression leaps outside of the body when the world is just that dangerous; leaps out and into materials more suitable for the self-preservation of a suffocating history– limonite, yellowochre,hematite, charcoal,burntbones, redochre ,groundedcalcite,and umber.The possibility exists that hiddeneverywhereunderthe crust thatformthecontinents,restsanotherskypaintedbythehandsofCro-magnons, forI have learned that the earth has a PHD in containment & obliteration. I have learned that the best prisons are the ones we design for ourselves in the name of education. I have yearned to become a master of incarcerating architecture, but I am just a city planner in a society obsessed with recidivism. Just think, the public is locked out of Lascaux because the awe of ourcollectivebreathwasdestroyingit. Hold that as I absorb the surgical sounds of the brown pelicans becoming scalpels in the shallow ocean offIslamorada, where they vanish for a moment, becoming violent machinations in the heavens of a world less familiar, but no less alive & dying.
-- Benjamin Bellas currently lives in Miami, Florida. His works are forthcoming or have been published/exhibited in The Broadkill Review, Qu Literary Magazine, Fives (A Companion to Denver Quarterly), The Pinch, Cadillac Cicatrix, Drain Magazine, Museum ofContemporary Art, Chicago; la Space, Hong Kong; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; and the Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki.