La alianza / José Antonio Ramos Sucre

The Alliance

I was listening to sobs through light and variable sleep. They could not be coming from my deserted house nor from my neighborhood disseminated in a spacious area.
     I lived in front of an old plaza, submerged in the penumbra of some dry trees, of an elemental drawing. They revealed a scaly bark and their sharpened leaves of corneous tissue, similar to flaccid ribbons, had ceased to create sap.
     A messenger arrived from far away, at daybreak, to tell me the new misfortune. He had devoured the distance, riding an impetuous horse, of gallant armor. I admired the stirrup of Arabic usage.
     My tutor and counselor’s daughters remembered me when they found themselves destitute. Death wounded him secretly amidst the night’s thickness and the sounds of its burlesque minstrel flute revealed the disgrace and propagated consternation.
     I had forgotten in a chamber of pulverulent furniture the carriage of my youthful excursions. I reached the home visited by calamity, after reestablishing the chassis and wheels in more than one spot in the dried up countryside.
     The women came to greet me, solemn and emaciated in the manner of sybils. They had reserved for me the ceremony of spreading the fistful of lime over the face of the deceased, a resemblance of some rite of the gentiles in obsequy of the infernal pilot.
     I was sealing in this manner the agreement of an immutable grief, without forcing my language exempt of effusion and grace. I faithfully attend the daily responsory in the family oratory and add my voice to a sad psalmody.

El cielo de esmalte (1929)

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

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