††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††ELIZABETH SCH÷N






           I was born in Borburata. There was a green plant holder in the hallway; the water would hurl itself down and would echo inside the clay jug with a sound like small coins falling. A fountain stood out in the patio; the ferns bunched up around it and formed a greenish, humid awning that smelled pleasant. The pillars were round, made of wood, and nails that sometimes injured, jutted out of the cracked sections.
           The house had few rooms. The rooftops were made out of cañabrava wood and mangrove beams; thatís where the spiders wove their hives, which packed the edges of the wooden framework. On the headpieces of the beds and in the water jugs, the moths and a fine, golden sand brought in by the wind from the distant sea would always accumulate. Two little stoves were always turned on; occasionally, a fly or a bee, who had been hunting the soup that was being cooked, would scorch itself within the embers.
           Behind the yard, where an apamate tree grew, ran a gorge. The cows would go there to drink, while the thrushes picked at their feathers and I thought of the day I would live in Caracas, Caracas which I imagined as if it were the most beautiful, immense palace inhabited by glorious men.


           Juan is my friend and he has such black and such large eyes that itís impossible for the sun to ever make them fade one day.
           I met him one afternoon, he didnít ask my name, he stood there observing me, quietly, calmly; he contemplated the mountains through the windowpanes, with the multitude of houses spread around them: hats the wind would have tossed. I told him my name was Lucía and with a soft, tender voice he began to repeat it, as though Iíd told him the name of a continent, a lake, a forest he was anxious to observe.


           Next to the stairs of El Calvario, I say to Juan:
           ďLetís not descend the steps too quickly.Ē
           ďLucía, if you want to know this city you have to hurry. Caracas is too big, so much that I almost mistake her for a country.Ē
           We descend quickly. Since Iím happy, I remain quiet. Juan has told me not to speak when Iím content; itís better to be quiet, and this way the happiness doesnít end. It actually remains intact, like certain gifts that are stored so as to not be damaged or broken.


           Juan has arrived punctually. I like his suit, it is the color of medlar. He doesnít say a word to me; but it doesnít matter.
           We stroll through Plaza Altamira. A green grass, with yellow tones, surrounds the plaza. There are bushes, round pines, benches. The obelisk is a mast, an immense needle. Beyond the avenues, many buildings lift themselves up, with balconies, doors and ferns the breeze moves.
           We sit down on a bench. The pond, placed in the center of the plaza, is wide, long; the sun penetrates there and transforms itself, beneath the water, into a white shell. A small boat, with a yellow chimney, sails slowly, its dark anchors and the metallic rigging. It stumbles into the shore and stays still; around it: water, space, sky too high above, with the stars hidden amid the clouds.
           Juan stands up. He runs to the corner. He chooses a fallen branch and begins to touch it.
           Then he puts something warm into my hands, somewhat scratchy, itís a nest full of newborn pigeons! I imagine the sun must have been like this when it was born and they placed it above the earth.




Clarity of thought
is charged by the limit
of the sphere and the star
even from the good that
will not stagnate on your hand
or stay trapped
in the polished axles of beginnings
Rather, the soul
is filled by your skin, by your weeping,
even by your distances
creating your double fence of dreams
so that the root of vigor might thread around you
and burst into the transparency of feeling
Then the petal will detach
toward the luminous mirrors of roundness
and anxiety
toward the ever quiet depths of your own, unique,
And we ask ourselves
why such an urge
if the secret crowns of the skies
never move away
that is the soul of the voice
that is love?


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