Las almas / José Antonio Ramos Sucre

The Souls

     The ship had the name of a flower and of a fairy. It was quickly dividing the elastic surface of the sea. The cabin boy announced with a screaming voice the island of the storm birds. Its rocks were drawn in the tenuous sunset, simulating the relics of a city. They signified the war of the elements on an immemorial day.

     A cloud of smoke was breaking up, a brief distance from the floor, in a series of different orbs. A treacherous being was entertaining himself burning green firewood in a deceitfully altered atmosphere. From where the unusual figures of the smoke came.

     When we touched ground, we discovered the author of the fire. Nature had tried in an involuntary and blind manner to sketch a human creature. The malignance of the possessed one was gleaned from his rudimental physiognomy. He locked up the wind in a wineskin.

     We treated him boldly and without respect and left him unarmed and contrite. The name of our ship awoke from its lethargy and redeemed from its captivity a company of aerial forms. They followed us on the return trip and their presence took up no space at all.

     We led them to the foot of a mountain and they penetrated the core of some trees, so as to hide. A lagoon was surrounding and defending them with its gasses.

     They were left under the charge of a bird free from the necessities and limitations of life.

El cielo de esmalte (1929)

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

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