El año desierto / José Antonio Ramos Sucre

The Deserted Year

I slowly climbed the stone staircase and was resting alone in a grave chair, of secular authority. The roof dominated a cold, dying circle and I was keeping myself from glancing about.
     An unhappy memory was forcing me to remain with my head hung low and retracting me from contemplating the wonder of the building, refuge of my despair. It had surged in a single night, according to a fable by the humble ones, the work of a reprobate art. The metals, nature’s most energetic elements, obeyed every detail of the will of a contriver or demiurge with an immovable face and a sealed mouth and they flowered magically from his fingers.
     I was entertaining grief by reading the pages of Boethius and meditating on the reversal of his fortune. A tale credited him with the invention of steel artifices, removed from axles and wheels and proportioned to imitate the course of the planets. They received perennial movement from the hands of an invisible being.
     I was demanding supernatural favors. The nostalgic maiden had disappeared from the roads of the earth and had flown with transparent wings under the faded sky. I was inviting her from my lassitude and grief to return from an infinite absence. An aerial form agreed to appear, to calm my moaning sensibility. I barely recall the tint of her hair, fire of a volatile oriflamme.

El cielo de esmalte (1929)

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

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