Entonces / José Antonio Ramos Sucre


I dream that a violent winter gust blows on your uncovered hair, oh girl, who walks through the monstrous snowy city, where I hope to arrive still young, to watch you pass. I will recognize you on the spot, your tormented and exquisite soul, your feeble body and your blue glance will not surprise me; I have felt your delicate and weak hands, I have guessed your voice that sings and your graceful walk. The day of our encounter will be the same as any other in your life: I will see you making your way amid the throng of passers-by and carriages that fills the street with its tumult and the cold air with its noise. The street will be long, it will end where distant fogs join together; it will be formed by a double row of houses with no interval for living groves; it will be made more tedious by enormous buildings that deny the sight access to the sky. By then the birds that livened it with their song will be far from the Nordic city and the sun will be forgotten; so that the artificial light with its livid glare may rule, it will have been buried by the clouds, whose horror is increased by industry with the black breath of its fauces.
     Then and there will be the final hour of this my youth elapsed without enjoyment. I will have gone to experience in the strange and septentrional city the bitterness of its farewell and the grief of its eternal abandonment. To suffer the twilight of youth I will already have been prepared by the departure of many illusions and the fading of many hopes. The remembrance of impossible affections will ache in my memory and the weariness of conquered desires will weigh on my spirit. And I will no longer aspire to anything else: I will have adapted my eyes to the ugly world, and closed my door to hostile humanity. My mansion will be for others impenetrable rock and for me firm prison. Stoic pride, I will have achieved horrendous solitude. Around my forehead will float grey hairs, grey as the ash of orphaned homes.
     I will have arrived from far away with the eternal, deep sorrow, the one that was born with me in the blazing tropics and accompanies me like the awareness of living. A sorrow not calmed by the wonder of the skies and the perpetually luminous native seas, nor by the equatorial ardor of life, that has surrounded me exuberantly and languishes only in me. The years will have passed without dimming this sickly and aching sensibility, tolerable for whomever might only have the occupation of dreaming, and that unfortunately, because of life’s rough assault, exists within me like a cord about to break from painful tension. The sensibility that from the adverse world makes me flee to solitary reverie, will have become sharper and more fragile once my youth gravely recedes with the deliberate melancholy of the ship on the vespertine horizon.
     When I find you, we will be joined together by the certainty of our exile in the modern city that torments itself with the thirst for gold. That day, too late, the last one of my youth, in which semi dead memories will awaken, like ghosts, when the winter forms the mortise of the Earth, will be the first one of our infinite and sterile love. Joined in the same reverie, we will escape from the world, each day more barbarous and avaricious. We will escape on a flight, because our lives will end without a trace, in such a way that this will be the epitaph of our idyll and our existence: they passed like somnambulists over the damned Earth.

La torre de Timón (1925)

{ José Antonio Ramos Sucre, Obra completa, Caracas: Biblioteca Ayacucho, 1989 }

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