El alma

del mundo.

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The water’s silent. A murmur of blood beckoning blood echoes in the depths of the catacombs. The still liquid is diluted and seeps through, soaking the mud skin, which had grown mouldy so that it was like a forest rather than a wasteland, and turns it into a black balsam that eventually covers everything. The heart pumps. The waves break against his mouth. Who told the sea it could leave its shore? The water’s silent. The eyes plead. The night offers no respite and the moon has lain down to listen to the cries rend the heavens. Who will have pity on him? Two morays fall on his beautiful face which is turning pallid and cold and that no longer looks like his face. With his teeth he tries to hold on to the life they’re tearing from bite by bite, but he finds no jaw holding them and the mouthful barely brushes his escaping soul. The water’s silent.

The future is a patch of foam the sea wipes off the sand. He forgets the tears and pain. The morays dance on Khaled’s body as though it were a rocky tomb in the deep. They enter through his eyes, they grasp his throat, they jump on his chest. The water’s silent. His legs no longer feel the ground, everything is liquid. The salt wrinkles his hands and the seaweed won’t let him breathe. The Lighthouse of Alexandria lights up an unknown corner of the world for him. It may be Ithaca. Meanwhile, the morays laugh and become tangled in his hair. And the water’s silent. She no longer recognises him. She feels a cry of silence welling up in her womb and tearing at her throat. Her bed is a niche in which a bunch of new flowers cut at the wrong moment is rotting.

No balsam can soothe the nothingness that devours her lap, no mourning can hide the pain that others took as their flag to fight a revolution. She has turned her back on the sea. The flesh that desires flesh has become soft, but the bones still feel the weight of the one who was forged within her ribs. Her belly is full of blood-soaked sand. The water’s silent. The moon’s laughter is like the tolling of a bell.

by Nuria tesón