trans. Wythe, A.D. 2005:
On our planet, the ground is made of drums. Where we step, sound follows. We know our heaviness by the depth and bravado of our drumstep.
I am light and tall, a sort of red crane covered in bark with three yellow lamp-eyes spaced equally around my jagged head. My wife, an ellipsoid of a blue-green, soapy disposition, is thick and massive in the technical sense: She thumps away from me at night with such hollow clarity that my neighbors pound their shovel-like wrists on the tympanis and yell, "Go to bed! Like the rest of us!" If only we were.
But we are not happy. We think the rest of them are not happy, but we are not sure. We are sure that soon we all will pass, that our planet will be an empty kit littered with mummies. How are we to know when you will come? This radio transmission includes no Rosetta stone. You must make your own way through our dull, metallic lives.
I will tell you a story to help you: On your way to us, through our oily ionosphere, you must move through the gear-bird layer (black; whirring; ducks; four empty oculus-arrays; sting us when we approach in our green, bread-crumb-propelled jets; have never, because of the gear-bird layer, made it into space; this fountain of radio-garble all you will ever see of us; etc.) and the bird-gear layer (dark blue/clear-white; whirring more quietly; thin; eye-sized gears made of birds that turn the sky from our token dark [periods 2.0 – 4.0] to less dark [periods 1.0 and 5.0, summers, winters] and turn our ground from cymbals to kicks, during monsoons) before you arrive at us. We are un-harmed by the tickling gears of the closer, bluer layer, but we do not know and cannot imagine your form:
Are you huge and green, as one prophet (Dinkler, Exegesis V, p. 90 – 93) maintains? Are you red and salty and ant-like, as my wife divined from the much-scried entrails (metallic liver, magnetic left kidney, gut-rake, sphincter-ice) of our broken son, Speakface? The guts say you are either red/salt/ant-y or one of those many-bodied celestial cat made only of neutrons. We (I) wonder.
I never trusted Speakface. He refused to move out when we asked him to move out. He spent all his time collecting canes and running down a path that sounds like a snare roll, though we told him many times not to bound or run or galumph anywhere. He sounded ping-y, no matter the ground beneath him. (Often said to him: "Stop sassing.")
In fact, I do not wish you to intercept this brief, masticated sonic-iteration of our world. I do not wish you to seek us out and touch our time-wrapped mummies and rape our bodies of history. History is only true until you tell it. I do not know why I am my planet's historian. (Our sound for historian is the same as our sound for liar.) Nor do I know why we are dying. Maybe we are paranoid. Are you dying? Will you arrive in time to help mummify us in the entrails of our children, tell us stories, until our patented darkness breaks and we must sleep? Will you find us far too late, when even our dust is dust?
I do not want you here. Even if I am unhappy, my wife runs from me, child dead and clothing—o stupid worn-worm me slithering knife through air wailing beneath unmoon's goon-light—o me—give me up. Give me away. This is what I pray to take from you, night angels:
Come to me, my thinking flask, and flense away the basis upon which all me is framed. Framed or farmed. I am a dead-interrupt, an already-mummy. Come to me when I am finally a happy dead. We will drink bird-wine together in the dark vast my people cannot reach. Do not tell my wife I am unhappy here. She will murder me. Do not—please, I know I should not ask favors of my betters who do not walk on congas—talk or write of my still child, poor dumb Speakface who preferred to speak in steps. For him, now, for you, now, I will run. I will boom my thistle-crunch tap-tap and chase my tubby wife until she wakes the neighbors. Maybe, if I constructed a dog, I would be very much like you. Like I imagine you to be.
Maybe we are not so unalike. If you would not mind, try to find me beneath our dark, bird welkin, and we will step as one.