El rito / José Antonio Ramos Sucre

The Rite

They had brought me there blindfolded. Sinuous flames were running across the ground of the sanctuary at certain moments in the sepulchral night, climbing the columns and beautifying the exquisite acanthus flower.
     The caryatids with serene faces, were sustaining the emblematic scales and extinguished lamps in their hands.
     I propose to myself to dedicate a remembrance to my companion during those days of solitude. He was polite and prudent and possessed nature’s most esteemed gifts. He would constantly postpone the answer to my anxious questions. I was older than him by a few years.
     He died at the hands of a delirious mob, enemy of his piety. He had left me in ignorance of his origin and service.
     I came close to abandoning myself to desperation. I regained my composure by invoking his name, for a week, at the edge of the sea and in the presence of the dying sun.
     I was retaining a fistful of his ashes in my left hand and would call on him three times consecutively.

Las formas del fuego (1929)

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

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