I look inside my heart for a reason to love you and I realize that I have none; I love you without knowing why, without any trace of self-censorship or sanity, awash in tears of madness, searching for a response that will not be found. It is then that my eyes look to the past—an era frozen in the cobwebs of time—and seek an answer they cannot grasp; but no matter how much I search, I find nothing—only silence decrypts my thoughts. Now I know that my eyes are trying to uncover the exact moment when my heart expressed to you that I love you, but that moment seems to vanish among the ephemeral adverbs of time and words left unsaid … Could it be that distance erases those beautiful moments with its echoes and dry rivers? Or is it that the moment never existed? That my heart created it to justify this innate affection that flows from my lips when I talk about you.
It might have been two seconds after meeting you that this love sprang from my soul. I do not know and I do not care. Indeed, when I think of you, my hands bring forth hundreds of white dreams, creating a unique softness, virgin, angelic; a chimera of glass where your smile always appears first, revealing these wild cravings be near you.
I am telling you, in these formless notes that I write, that the mere fact of talking about you makes my heart [that has no reason to belong to you] beat with a wiser rhythm, expressing to me that every pause it makes in its path is to think about you, to live in you, and remember you. And it’s true I do not think of you at every interval in time, because your fragrance stays within my chest and each beat is an expression of you; and even though there are days when I avoid looking at you, looking for you, or calling you, I end up defeated in a dark, blasphemous corner, trying to hear your voice, and above all, concealing from you a whisper that fights to escape me from inside and yearns to scream with all the force of my soul: I am mad about you! I am crazy about you a thousand times more than I was yesterday!
This collection of short stories are for the most part introspective reveries, with a handful structured as new folktales suitable for campfire gatherings. The settings are presumably author Rosario's native Dominican Republic, although the stories mention few details anchored in a specific location. The existential language is often poetic and dreamlike. "... his voice was different, conceptual, irresistible, loaded with white melancholy..." With these words Melchor Rosario inadvertently makes a fair assessment of his own style in Voices Hidden in the Valleys. Two stories which diverge from the dominant themes of fate, tenacity, loss, and unsettled guilt are quite successful. Both are taut with direct language and original subjects. "A Gray Look" is a particularly creepy tale which seems quiet at first but builds rapidly. Readers may feel a chill when they reach this line: "...I should always bring a strong shovel with me in case another look blocks the road." The very brief "Bewitchment of Age" features an apt, credibly constructed unnamed young female protagonist whose line of fateful thinking rings true. Rosario has laid out simple ingredients for her possible doom, but lets her choose to create it herself. Another notable piece is "Letter For A Ghost": "Nothing is ordinary in this life. Everything has a spark of madness, a white flame that makes us hear magical voices singing miseries in C-Major." This book is no Dominican travelogue, it is flashes in the synapses. Those who appreciate inward-reaching insight and fast sketches which impart meaning beyond that which is stated in print will find Voices Hidden in the Valley to be worth the read. Todd Mercer, Reviewer, ForeWord Magazine, Clarion Review.