El sagitario / José Antonio Ramos Sucre

The Sagittarian

I climbed the black marble staircase soliciting my arrow, imprudently shot. I found it stuck in the door made of cedar, embellished with symmetrical drawings.
     I was accustomed to shooting with the silver bow, similar to Apollo’s, for the sake of interrogating fortune. I was about to leave in vessel with square sails though I only trusted those with triangular sails. I had grown up satisfying my whims and caprices.
     A woman emerged behind my back, she moved resolutely to pull out the arrow and took it away from me without speaking a word. Her presence had prevented the success of my shot. I recognized one of the enemies of Orpheus.
     I was left captivated by that imperious woman, dressed in a panther’s skin. I thought I had seen her at the head of a procession enraged with the offerings presented at the mausoleum for Eurydice’s lover. Her angry gesture had been out of place in the overflowing night.
     I once again defended the master’s ashes and frightened off the mob of bitter women, simulating, from a grove, savage roars. I was expecting to suffer from one moment to the next the revenge of that artifice.
     The woman climbed onto the ship with me and despotically called to her service the sea demons, hidden in the reefs. The sailors came to an understanding with their glances and chose a new course. The sun traced the arc of its route on the circuit of the waters several times. An unknown bird was flying ahead of us.
     I was abandoned to my own resources on a muddy shore, from where one could see, at a brief distance, a monument consecrated to the furies.
     I discovered the name of the place recalling a lamentation by Orestes.

Las formas del fuego (1929)

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

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