Three Extracts from Paraguayan Sea

Wilson Bueno

Illustration by Cody Cobb

"D'you remember"

D'you remember, life, do you recall: our maison in Assunción, rivulets of water, Guaraní country, and le oldguy, pas aussi old as now, slack as he is and because of that, only instinct propels his satyr life and needs. He sought me out, after that cinquième glass of wine, the fifth, suddenly, all slacker et faking insouciance, starting to grope me with tickles, and knowing I wouldn't go for it, I burst into a run, I'm onto the oldguy's game and I dash out of the room. His desire and martyrdom: pursue me, hunt me down, haunt me. Reaching me, inevitably as usual, he wrestled me to the ground (as I tried to wriggle free of him on the sofa), smooth varnish where I flailed, suffering butterfly, while he mounted the hard bones of his knees on my quavering arms, clothes défaits, all his vêtements, the first rasps of his skin on my skin, his snouty thumb and sexe en flamme touching me in all that I offered him. He stuck his bouche béante on me as if to suck me totalmente into his hot insides. Yes, aortan blood pulsed in every pore of the oldster. Even though I, once certain caprices were satisfied, for magasins et jewels, cadeaux and grabbags, I'd spit back all that his avid tongue had proferred me in saliva with an undecipherable goût of semen. He tripudiated and wasn't yet that rascal who's always skewered, who dies and doesn't die and about whom, for the nth time je déclare formellement et atteste: it weren't moi qui killéd the oldie.

"The winter pluies"

Rain. The winter pluies de juin in the beach town. Dense fooog, thick, a sort of paste of days when the rains start to soak even yards and streets. An evocation of fairies through the windows: all marrying w'inter, leurs sombreros s'embracent in an orgy of wet leaves. I sweat. Rain right to the bones of his bloodless face, the hollow empty là there where sa face was profilée dans l'ombre, emaciated sketch of what it once was in exuberance, déjà old, but still concrète as stone et not this one which it had à la fin become. I swear. Only, I feel afflicted by the unrelenting souffle that suffocated him, freed him from the bedsheets, from the embrace of the necklace and I lugged him from the bed to the sofa, afflicted and a little hysterical and—why not say it—with a pinprick of dark hatred for his vegetative and oblivious persistence. His smile of gratitude et fondness, even though his eyes spoke en colère of anger, his sourire I can't prove because a smile's subjective and particular, but I can say, with brute honesty, he was still alive. Then, and this then is in another temps, returning to suffocate him with a pad, given he was blubbering in a diarrheic désir to return to the bed, I just had him contained there on the sofa when I realized that, sans avis ni raison, the oldie was already turning into a new masque of the oldster—now more contained and even though his Costa Rican eyes blue with cataracts bulged in a stare at the ceiling (or at my tits?), for the première fois I saw a certain flash of decency dans la face of that vieux salaudian bastard qui a ruiné my life. Non, it wasn't out of the bleu that I pulled him from bed to sofa, but to keep him still, though my hands trembled in that démence that must précède human assassination—be it scorpion-suicide, be it the venom-wave of the wind. All I did was move him from one spot to un autre, and as such, the task of dying, properly speaking, was la exclusive responsabilité of the oldie. I can trumpet it avec ma bouche wide open, even if no one's paying attention to me: it wasn't moi who killéd le vieux guy.

"one dusk après une autre"

one dusk après une autre I sit ici on this sofa diagonal to the window, and in sitting it's presque as if everything's crumbling into bits: cramps in the guts: setting sun weaving humid nuances: spaces from où move déjà les occupations cérémoniales of light and lune: between the crowns of sombreros or entre les durs vides of the fig tree that devastate into shadow and suspicion in the crépuscule of the beach town: figuier, couronne, sombreros: la ancestral speech of fathers and grands-pères that infinitely vanishes into memory, they entertain all speech et tricot: these Guaraní voices eternalize so simply as they go on weaving: ñandu: there is no better fabric than the web des leaves tissées all together, ñandu, together and between the arabesques that, symphoniques, interweave, in a warp and weft of green and bird et chanson, in the happy amble of a freedom: ñanduti: ñandurenimbó:

: here I sit: ñandu: to inflect into the crochèterie my ñanduti renderings: ñandutimichĩ: smallest ti-fleur that persists with the needle barely for the excruciating patience of a few hours: in these sutures, salt clocks, that keep themselves smeared with the fluctuating couleurs du coucher du soleil that play themselves out in les automnes de maintenant: here ñandu: an opacity of feeling: je m'assois: assise: ñandu: my cancerish word is s'asseoir: me voir: ñandu: winter more than automne panique autumn: ñandu: what is the secret of identité entre these deux things absolument distinctes: spiders and scorpions?

: yes, the scorpions of the heart: ñandu: alight they hit you, vous frappent with all they've got: the ñandu bateau mortally occurring: we'll survive it: even ostrich-necked, ñanduguasú: fileté in the sand: ñandu: ñanduti: web: the crochet contorting from one stitch to the next: corolla: ramification of hair and ligne: slow announcing the fleur of flower most florid: most michĩ: ñandutimichĩ: almost invisible: miraculum: simulacrum: ñandu: mirroir of God: ñandu: a thousand à vrai dire solitaire ñanduti: the needle as dark désir for blood et death: the oldie each second ticking older: the boy: how can they be so green, hovi mboihovi: those eyes of the boy with their myriad green flecks creating their pigmentation: hovi hovi hovi: my despair was greater than the recyclical nuit of the beach of Guaratuba where I hear myself meurt: dollyface: like a passenger at sea: la mer: paraná: ñanduti

translated from the Portunhol and Guaraní by Erín Moure