††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††ANTONIA PALACIOS






Iím surrounded by somber airs. They suffocate me and silence my words. They are words from distant times, when the roads were spacious trails and I would travel them in a transparency that was granted me by chance. Everything seemed at hand and distant. They were times of lucid summers, of trees where birds of vivid colors would build their nests and from the earth rose a warm vapor, a silent fog that would settle over the patio. Windows with balusters seemed to protect a dense quietude that kept the screams and wails very far away. Today Iím sharpening the ear to listen once again to those secret words I hadnít yet discovered, they would arrive, burning and trembling at a previously set hour. They came and went. They stopped for a fugitive instant that barely contained my breathing. I evoke them this afternoon of dark airs and feel how they deny themselves to me.


Iím against everything, the one who told me I love you, the bird that flew off, the diaphaneity of the sky, the downhill trail and the trail that crawls upward. A cloud passes and the air passes. The voice is dissolved in space and thereís a perennial longing in the earthly spot where I find myself, an annulment of everything as though a giant sponge had erased life. I recall the other times, the transparency of the air, the bonds of love, the infinity of hours cultivating each instant and that taste for things, that recreation of touch, my fingers on an animalís skin.


Iím listening to the trembling of a distant night. A night that murmurs amid its dense foliage. Iím barely listening to it from this closed place where my spirit drags itself over hard foundations that wound me without bleeding. I want to penetrate the night, know of its occult aroma, have it fill me slowly with its stillness, its adventure. Go towards other continents where the night turns, raises small things that soar intact in a flight toward the skies. This night is magic, its curvature in sleeplessness. The wind carries me in its fervor to imagine another recondite and generous night that could illumine me completely from afar, from outside, and clear up this babbling subdued without violence. This night is so long.


Here where Iíve stopped I listen to strange sounds, flights of invisible birds, and I think of a firmament only my mind retains. Stilled Iím awaiting some diaphanous delivery, an ignored promise. The air is tinged with an impossible color and the wind intensely shakes the crossroad trees. In these parts of the world behind white mountains no one dares pass. Maybe the fear of death, a quick death with no time for pain. I hope the night will sprout with its mystical torment, its mantle of darkness. A star might shine in this wide open air that never has any end.


The house collapsed. It left some scattered dust, slabs of hard cement. It also left memories scattered everywhere. The roof that overflowed with the stirring of doves also came down. I donít want to rebuild the house, lift new walls, or doors, or roof tiles, or a small window through which the world passed, or that wide threshold where the front door towered and I would penetrate the days, nights, seeking my warmth there. The house collapsed, a transparent house where the day would light up and a thick darkness would tremble at night. Nothing was left of the house, not the light on the walls nor the patioís splendor. Only silence moves through the vast empty space and the sterile words whose thin filaments the wind will dissolve. I will remain in the open air watching the fog in the trees until the arrival of death, a house erected by time that will never collapse.


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