We were sitting at the pentagon working on elevating for peace when the shaking began. It began as a low hum, then a rumble, then a crumbling roar that shook the walls and the streets. It was as if elephants were congregating, ready to run in a solid body of grey flesh and trumpets raised to mourn the dead.

Elephants have grief. Geese have envy. Dogs have resentment. Goats have plans. The question is, do animals have dreams? Do they have goals? Does the anteater picture himself writing, playing the guitar? Does the otter imagine that she will catch men’s eyes, does the camel see himself skydiving, does the eel slink out of a cool dark cave to sing an aria, to reach notes so high that coral reefs disintegrate? Does the fly wish to be canonized, are swans polyamorous, does the platypus play the guitar, do porcupines plait their hair?

All over the world, the people of all species metamorphize, hover, elevate and descend; astral projection is as common as tuna salad on rye toast. How many species have said to themselves and their better halves or thirds or eighths that they wish they could make brioche, and how many of them have been looked down upon by the French, human and otherwise? The French, who see dead people, may rise again like pastry, or they may rest in a remembered pool of butter and glory. France, being a small country, nonetheless has resorts and beaches and forests and mushrooms, nonetheless has kilns where artists with clay may throw their desires, spinning and shaping and then baking them, croissants, nudes, goblets, bowls, abstract shapes that make the French and others wish they knew what to do with that shape, this shape, these shapes, arising unexpected, from the spinning wheel.


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October 2010
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