The Matador

After Menno Meyjes’s Manolete, After Concepción Cintrón

Her red hands release each stained dove
skyward. Red petals spill from the sky,
past laundered black satin dresses that weep.
Death is her wife & I the mistress.
I call her Concepción, as in Immaculate
Conception. I call her Conchita, as in concha,
so I kneel to taste the ocean. Perfect small cakes,
her breasts rise below her suit of lights that exposes
nothing. A scar on the cheek & chest where I press
my fingertip to the quickening of pulse.
A grace carries from our bed into the ring.
I as her mistress know her as nothing timid.
Her red mouth beckons the bull. She fights on horseback &
lunges only once back on ground. Her last fight,
I wear my best dress as though attending a funeral
with a half veil. The crowds’ hands rise to make
the cross: the crown, the heart, left, right &
a kiss of fingers to pursed mouth. She caresses
the bull as he charges, a slow tango. She tempts
death & leaves me, her mistress in the stands,
silk handkerchief between my teeth.

Art Movie

The train stopped, still loads new passengers, but the conductor won’t let me get off and kiss you. You know that’s what I haunted to do.