MY CITY pp. 253-257 | TRANSLATED BY RODRIGO NOVAES

 

 

Belittled by the pasture with a book in hand. That scanty and low pasture. The setting sun plunges into the asphalt horizon while I rest my head on the bus seat’s headrest. I arrive with my legs bent, messy hair, pale and heavy eyebrows, marked cheeks – with lines from the heavy cloth of the headrest – and an empty stomach, with only orange juice inside. Night fell four hours ago and I am still thirty minutes away.

 

I appear to my city through the window of early dawn, the city limit roundabout welcomes me in circles, the lamppost dottily illuminates the night into clarity with the heat’s veil, and the large moon can hardly be seen. All become dark, including my head. Sleepy, I see images that I cannot decipher and the lines in the book become horizontal.

 

There’s a man carrying a lamp, shirtless, next to a line of wooden logs arranged in order to build a hut.  This same man climbs the wood and walks straight, shirtless, embraced by the setting sun, blocked by a mountain from Minas. Eucalypts smell like invisible clouds of mentholated ochre as I pass; naturally wet, the grass mixes like a silo with this burning smell. The shirtless man is blessed by the mountain nights; his chest outlines a shadow like the mountains. Hairs entwined around the same aureole, some visible coloured spots and the skin distinguish his rib bones. Another man observes his walk while holding a stick of polished, waxed wood, with a bulbous head. 

 

The bitch sleeps on the wet floor in the shadow. I arrived in the city late at night, but will have to rise at seven to go to the ranch: I drive at dawn, whose flat, light-potholed roads, take me far. I miss the entrance to the ranch to lose myself a little more until the music is finished; clouds of mosquitoes illuminated by the intermittent light; a trail of small leaves from the same tree running on the road in a gust of wind seem like chicks; shadow and sun, grass and asphalt alternate.

A turnaround after finding a roundabout that would have taken me to Taquari. I arrive at the ranch no later than ten.

They either trimmed the garden or removed it. The Saint George swords are no longer there, huddled together as a shelter for lots of webs, with lots of greens.

 

The dried crumbs on the asphalt to the left form a luminous constellation in contrast to the grey. These are the breadcrumbs thrown so the birds will eat (one has a red head, like fire).

The neighbour’s dog comes and circles the savoury dots; it licks them all.

 

The jasmine sprig that I took from the small tree brought me to the glass a small sienna coloured beetle. It becomes entwined with the white jasmine petals, circling them. It slips avoiding the antennae and graciously tearing the silk of the petals without noticing the glass of water. Stirred by the fragrance or blind with hunger? Its hind legs hold on to the highest part of the flower, the front ones touch the silk whilst its teeth chew. I imagine I brought it from so far away, hidden, that it must have left its peers behind without even noticing it. It is now an exile, its sprig at a distance, I merely observe from afar as a writer. Will it not notice me?

 

Now its astonished eyes see me, it’s static like a salt rock. The solemn afternoon sets around the fire. Grave towers on the hedge. It doesn’t stretch its path. The wet wood logs rot every day.

Its nightfall is the rest of its valleys upon the mountains of its mattress, even if observed by the eyes of the man with the stick. In another space, the birds fear being caught and suddenly eat the bread faster. I sleep on the corduroy couch while they comb the grass at the entrance; the greyish knot of dead grass in a bundle of hay, to cover the roses at the base to serve as humus. 

 

Some cat whinges in the background, far away, after running up a tree. I feel I am susceptible to the changing wind, my mood slightly dissolves and when I hear news about the two of them, this empties my happiness. I have tried not to remember, especially now that they are full of happiness and contentment. The news, however, abound.

 

On the 5th it marked one year since we emptied our hopes. I sketched some words that I didn’t manage to write in their totality, the sentences got stuck, the commas full of knots and fluff. To write in silence and invite him to the silence; rested, closed, convinced. The words became a ball of yarn and from my throat left a dry, naked and silent sigh.  

 

A bird lands inside a bassinette. Its wings get stuck. The bird cannot free itself.

Budu is a book project with short chapters and fragmentary scenes, written from the perspective of a first-person lyrical self that travels through a homosexual and multifaceted memorial scene in contemporary São Paulo.