El nómade / José Antonio Ramos Sucre

The Nomad

I belonged to a race of impious men. Our horses’ pasture was vegetating on the site of extinct villages, leveled to the ground. We had sterilized a fluvial territory and enjoyed bringing terror to the palace of the kings dressed in skirts, entertained with sedentary games of foresight and calculation.
     I had wandered off to rest, far from my own, in the rubble of a summer home, obscured in a garden.
     A villager perfidiously brought me the most spirited wine, originated from a palm tree.
     I felt a hilarious intoxication and I executed, laughing and vociferating, the most audacious acts of the funambulist.
     A pilgrim, with a consumed face, happened to pass in front of me by chance. He spoke his name amid fearful babbling. It meant Ornament of Doctrine in his liturgical language.
     The old man’s paucity ended up making me lose my head. I grabbed him and submerged him repeatedly in a river covered with slime. The filth was clinging to the simple linen of his clothes. I treated him this way until his final breath.
     He was releasing a stream of mud from his mouth.
     I regained discernment when I heard his threat proffered at the limits of agony.
     He was announcing to me, quite soon, the vengeance of his bronze idol.

Las formas del fuego (1929)

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

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