El fenicio / José Antonio Ramos Sucre

The Phoenician

In order to reach the ocean one had to navigate, for three continuous days, the placid river. I would stop my boat, when night concluded, under the custody of an egregious tree. The prow was defended by the head of a winged monster.
     I was constantly studying the deserted banks and was unable to explain to myself the abandonment and indolence of the neighboring towns.
     Toward the spring of the placid river, deep in the continent, stood the palace of a blind king, where an inexorable justice was being dictated.
     The victims would descend, in unfortunate skiffs, to lose themselves in the sea’s width. The natives saw in the brackish waters the abyss from whence the night and its terror would emerge.
     I traversed those places without any trouble, and was unable to see man or beast.
     The sun was being born when I spotted, in the middle of the sea, the ship of my salvation, with origins in the south.
     It belonged to some Greek traders, who had ventured, all the way there, seeking amber.

Las formas del fuego (1929)

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

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