—Viscount Lascano Tegui
The calves born tonight all have six legs and glassy eyes. They'll enter the alcoholic eternity of our museums in due time. Much as a villager's boy—a seventh son—will end up in the city with a number on his chest, in the lunatic asylum, in the prison, or in the hospital. And then, tonight, there is a villager who will hang himself in the malignant shadow of our fig tree; the moon makes him think long and hard during his last moments.
Water and foamy piss overflow from the urinals. Beyond the star-shaped holes in their drains—in the cotton wads of the diseased—things have gotten clogged: there is emptiness and desperation in our drainpipes. The neighborhood roosters get restless too early and, as if passing over row after row of fences, a train whistle scratches the silence. Danger prowls around the patio. Its eyes stop on the latches and study the bolts. Silence like an arid field. Silence like a seeded field. The childlike scream of the train rages in the ravine of midnight. It's left the rail yard. It surges on. Filled to the brim with the diseased.
Heading to the south, it leads little girls by their limp hands . . . those who had to interrupt their eternal dialogue on the subject of fashion while saying their good-byes on the platform—for fashion reigns even in a sanatorium. It carries diabetic mothers to Vichy. To Venice, Cairo or Bruges, it carries eighteenth-century lovers. The ones who still write love letters, I mean. It carries abbesses and seminarians, trading their covenants and monasteries for moral turpitude. It carries bored people in search of the right bridge or lead cathedral roof from which to hurl themselves. Two of the train cars are full of tiny instructional skeletons from Paris that the municipality is sending to seaside developments in Berck. Likewise, there's a mechanic who will lose his mind en route and sail past the last station without stopping. And in the boxcar harnessed to this magnificent realization of human progress is a corpse with no next of kin sent as priority cargo to arrive in Bordeaux before ten in the morning. It's his last appointment.
We've entered a new world. Its geographic limits are unknown. But every moment that transpires within is torture. The round moon tonight is a server's tray sent up from hell. It's yellow in color, but it wants to be red, like the spit of some tubercular titan . . .