I am the baked chicken, my skin is brown, almost golden in its heated hue. I’ve been baking for hours, though it feels like years. The recipe is on the marble counter. Oil spots and a thin coating of flour soil the edges of the paper. I glow in the florescent light, green seasoning and dots of pepper decorate my skin. I’m pretty enough for a cooking show and soon, the guests will arrive, marveling at my color and crispy skin. With mouths watering, they will compliment the chef, job well done! "She looks perfect," they say, "the crispy skin is sure to be delicious."
For a moment, before the show continues, a slight tear in the crispy skin opens. After a fleeting moment of music and sound, when voices open and move without fear, without the barriers of control and doubt, the white flesh is exposed. Juicy and white, tender as the moment of birth, the insides are naked, open to all that have the eyes to look, and they are few. The salty tears come without anticipation or explanation, for the moment, without hesitation, the body opens wide.
In this moment, I know clearly why I am here. Why I beat this drum, why I sing this sustained note. This is beauty. This is raw and dark and light and the strength of time moving through us. Through the tear, the world comes through. Through the tear, the whitest of light seeps out and meets the deepest of blacks. In the bed of sounds, the piano cradles the drum, the fork finds his lover, the chandelier. The tears well as the cymbal is hit, lightly and unafraid. Harder, harder, there is no hesitation, there is no wrong, there is no right. It is. It simply is, now. This sound, this symphony.
There is no show, there is no skin, there is no crispy barrier protecting me from the watery-mouthed watchers or hungry guests. There is no secret, there is no skin, there is no me. The brittle design has been cut in half, and I find myself here, beating a bass. Through the opening in the candy coated shell, you find your way in, building the wooden bridge that connects one universe to another. When the tear is repaired, when the authorities are alerted of the breach and the hungry guests demand their dinner, hopefully the bridge will remain, just large enough for the Unknown to find its way inside and for me, to search for a way out.