from ‘Arrow’

by Matilde Campilho

The security guard at the Gold Museum in Bogotá turns off all the lights at eight p.m. He drops the keys into his trouser pocket, puts on his overcoat, lifts the collar because of the cold on the streets of the city which for many years they’ve called la nevera, the fridge. Thus protected, he goes down the steps and crosses the square. Before turning the corner he casts a final glance back at the building. He seems to notice a light still on inside, but his hunger makes him shrug and keep walking towards a hot bowl of ajiaco. The guard, however, is not blind: in the central atrium of the Gold Museum, in Bogotá, a mask is shining, lonely, at eight o’clock. Golden sparks leap incessantly from the living mould, and the tiniest trickle of tribal blood runs down from that precious face onto the white label that gives an account of its ceremonial name.

Translation by Daniel Hahn.