When the evening of January 5 arrives, Luisa leaves a water bowl and some grass outside, so that the camels that will come early in the morning can satisfy their hunger and thirst. Later, in the darkness of dusk, she leaves her house again, unlaces her shoes, and puts them down beside the offering, just like the ancient ritual requires. They are red, canvas and full of holes. Soles broken.
She lays down on her bed and falls asleep, her smiling face in the dark suggesting dreams. She is in a faraway world, far from this city.
The first light wakes her and she runs to the door. The water bowl is untouched, the grass as well, but the trainers are missing. Luisa looks toward the sky and smiles. She goes back inside the house and back into her bed.
Some hours later she walks down the broad central reservation in the boulevard. In one corner is the spot where she sits each day to beg. Proudly barefoot, she looks towards the sky once more and thanks the Magi for stealing that horrible pair of shoes. Her toenails are painted in the dark red nail varnish she found last week, discarded in the rubble.
translated by Minor Literature[s]
Leandro Calore is an Argentine writer. He was born in Rosario in 1972 and lives and writes in Funes. He tweets at @leandrocalore