[Lights come up brighter on Cuotemoc. BloodWoman goes off-stage].

: As a film of moisture on glass, so the Creators hooded the sight of humans. And they could see only nearby around them.[Light is brightest on the face, limbs and body of

Truly, these were the first humans! [He looks at the audience] This is the story of our destruction. [He looks off, mystically into the distance]

The body of man is fragile.

It bumps against the skin of the earth. Its contents spill out like the belly of an egg. The earth sucks man's fluids for the Xbalbans (Schebalbans). And his breath vanishes. A wisp borrowed from the wind.

As the sunlight cleaves the clear mirror of water. As the obsidian blade flows through the neck, the white bones, the muscle and red blood.

In Jaguar-Mouth, man's skin is consumed. A dry leaf  fleeing in the flaming wind.
And man's body feeds from the earth; feeds into the earth for its passage to the Place of No Flesh in the darkness with the Lords of Night.

[He looks back at the audience]
I am Cuotemoc - brother of Lord Moctezuma - overtaken by Lord Cortes on August 13 1531 according to your way of reckoning time.
I testify, but not of the way the Newcomers burned off my feet to try to persuade me to tell where there was more Yellow-gold.

If I may ask. If there is enough Yellow-gold to be made from it, would the Newcomers destroy the whole world for it?
This Yellow-gold that we heated; that we beat into bowls from which we ate fruits and meats; this Yellow-gold has now begun to mistreat us. Is it revenge? Is it a curse? Is it a god we disrespected?

Truly, we did not know it as a god!

[He looks upwards, into the distance]
If I may ask. And what do the gods have against us, Humans! Why did they not send this Yellow-gold to be given deference, honour and praise in lands under the Hairy Ones - who kill us as if it is not they who kill us.

They kill us in this life and worry that we join them in afterlife!

Truly, who can understand them?
Ahead of us lies the past. Ahead of them lies the future.
How is that?!
Who are they?!
Are they Demons sent by the Xbalbans?
Are they Lords of Night from the Eastern quadrants?
Are they also men, Humans as we?!

[He looks towards, but not at the audience]
We know the insect, different from us Humans is of the same creation. We know the bird flying beneath the sun is different from us Humans. But is of the same creation.

Are the Hairy Ones also from our creation?
Who are they?!

And who can save us?
Our valiant fighting does not save us. Sacrifices and appeasement do not stop them. Do not spare us humiliating deaths in the presence of our families, at the hands of these strangers who have seized our midst.

Our children's bodies feed their dogs.
Our women's bodies feed their appetites.
Our gods feed their god whose arms outstretch, but do not embrace!

We know the meat from a dead man's face is lost. Is the Outstretch god a glutton for the flesh of us Humans?

May I ask. How hungry can a god be that he consumes two thousand hearts every day?!
May I ask. Who among you have ever known the weight, and size and feel of a shaking human heart?
May I ask. Who among you know the weight, and height and feel of consuming two thousand shaking hearts a day, for a year? For a hundred years?! For two hundred years?!!

Can the earth drink all this blood? Can the Xibalbans gorge and drown in a flood of blood? And, tell me, - I who have behaved correctly in my relationships - who will attend to the memory of all these dead? Who?

I, Cuotemoc am a warrior. I have destroyed fortressed places. I have sacrificed mine enemy: his shaking heart offered to suckle the gods. Now the right side of my body is as weak as my left side.
Yet, am I a leader who looks without fear, without anger and without losing my soul on the face of death in a thousand battles fought to take captives. I have seen death come in the bones of the eye as the strong faltered when their hearts were suckled.
Yet have I, too, known pain when the flames tore the flesh from my feet. Is this smell of burning flesh as incense in the nostrils of the Outstretch god?

If I may ask. Is Yellow-gold, Almighty God to the Hairy Ones? Is this Sweat of the Sun their Begetter-Conceiver of Children?! Is its creation, - the Hairy ones a human-type? [The sound of hounds howling in the distance is faintly heard. Cuotemoc pauses briefly]

Truly, I have seen the Hairy one eat as we. He takes a woman as we. His body is fragile as a man's body. His blood is sucked into the earth as ours. But is he of the same creation as we Humans? Is he of this earth, and of these quadrants and time? 

May I ask. Is the Hairy one the anti-creation?!

Scene v:

[Lights fade on Cuotemoc. On the opposite side of the stage - the figure of an Amerindian woman is seen. She is an embattled and weakened warrior. Before she can begin to speak, the sound of hounds howling, still distant, but closer in pursuit is heard. Desperate, she starts. She is Anacoana, Amerindian cacique in rebellion against the Spaniards.]

: Quaaahhhhrrraaahhhooouuunnn.
When they first came we welcomed them. We!
They looked. They inquired. They looked again and discovered what was already known.
Our kindness made us fools when we welcomed them - the hairy discoverers - who bring darkness without stars.

Ah that you would give me a thousand warriors. Ones not dead. Ones not weakened with the diseases of the Hairy ones - they and their smaller brothers, more hairy than they, who follow even where there is no path to be seen nor followed.

The Discoverers came for the curse from the sun. It is their god. Their yellow god. For it they take the babes - even they with the boneless gums and dash their brains against the dried earth.
And their four-legged brothers lap the brains.
Their teeth pick at our flesh as if we were fish, consumed.

I-Anacoana speak what my eyes would rather not see. I cannot out-run disaster. I am overtaken by grief. I am overwhelmed as the strong branch that bends and breaks from the weight of our bodies hanging from them like strange fruit.

Ah, what have we done?
We are slain for what we have done.
We sinned when we fed the hairy strangers who came?
They consume the yellow and white corn, the cassava as dried earth sucks moisture from a small rain. Now we are consumed. We, who were many and strong.

Previous | Back to Main | Next