Los gafos / José Antonio Ramos Sucre

The Lepers

The night was concealing the low, inundated seaboard. A few birds were crossing it on foot and animating it with their screams. They were matching the filth of the harpies.
     I had gotten lost amid the cabins disseminated in an irregular manner. I was followed by an escort of sinister dogs, unfit for barking. A legend marked them as descendants of a race of hyenas.
     I did not want to call at the door of one of the neighbors. They had grown ill after ingesting the corrupted fruit of the sea and earth and displayed a painless crust instead of epidermis. They would alter it with pierced drawings, of augural inspiration. The clothes were similar to a cover and they held them in place by means of bandages and strips, reproducing, unwittingly, the dressing of mummies.
     The lines of a mountain ridge were pronouncing themselves in the air’s thickness. They gave room, beforehand, to the apparition of a perspicacious moon. A spasm, that of a decapitated man’s head, would animate the elements of its physiognomy.
     The satellite had ceased illuminating the fishermen’s seat, likeness of a hospital. I headed to where it would appear in another time and waited for it without any result. I stopped in front of a precipice.
     The sick judged themselves unhappy within the darkness and abandoned themselves until dying.

El cielo de esmalte (1929)

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

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