Ancestral / José Antonio Ramos Sucre


     The sun, halfway through its journey, introduces an oblique ray through the windowpane. No other sign of the day’s course appears.

     The thick and triple windowpane defends the gentlemen’s hall from the exterior noise. The shutters remain carefully closed and only one of them allows the infiltration of the oblique ray of sun. The furniture pushed up against the wall, peeks out amidst the penumbra. They might be attempting to free themselves from the veil of centuries of dust.

     The spider from the stories, sensitive to the rhythm of a prisoner’s flute, throws itself to the floor, trusting its threads and sure of its equilibrium. The spider has contributed its web for the gloves of royal persons and has warped the veil of the Virgin during the summer nap.

     Holes and vaulted niches interrupt the wall at each step. There hides, perhaps, some perfidious and unruly warrior.

     One of my grandfathers used a helmet with a crest of flames. He had received it from a mage, according to what he declared during the delirium of an infernal passion. That imperishable helmet remained on earth after Proserpina was abducted.

     That same grandfather occupies my thoughts. He presides with an impious gesture a memorable tragedy and propels it to its denouement.

     Close to the walnut table subsists the Córdoba armchair to which his consort is accustomed. He forced her to swallow a poison.

     The porter of this mansion one time allowed entry, at this same hour of stillness and humidity, to a woman of resolute disposition. She wore an historical fashionable suit and her face, of illustrious beauty, uncovered signs of weeping and rage. She occupied the Córdoba armchair and vanished into the air leaving no memory of her visit.

     She had penetrated without waiting for my license. It is useless to oppose latches and obstacles against her.

     I have left the gentlemen’s hall in the same order as that moment.

     No one can enter there before her return.

Las formas del fuego (1929)

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

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