A Matador stands in the arena,
the prose of living and dying.
His suit of light the sun’s prism,
catching Heaven’s rays and fears.
Fastened in it he is crippled by his art.
There is another beating heart there,
glistening black streaked with red.
It is the object of contradiction
for the bull has only numbed knowledge,
primal, base, alive with instinct,
feeling the moments pain and confusion.
They dance on an earthen charnel,
choreography balanced on life’s pinpoint.
Man and bull bound together
in a tragic El Greco mural.
The mortality of Seneca offers the cup.
Which will drink of it first
to taste the bitter dregs of eternal sleep?
Poison from the blood bound point of horn
or thrust of impersonal steel?
The bull follows the cloth with thunder.
El pase de pecho, in poetry of ballet
the Matador strains to fulfill his culture of death.
Slaughter in an amusement of sacrificial salvation.
A flurry of the Matador cape for Saint Veronica.
The washing of the Spanish soul in the Sangria de Cristo.
The bull is not stupid, it learns.
One more pase natural, one more charge.
If toro gets lucky, very lucky, and God loves him,
the Matador will be in hell before he is.
But not today!
Copyright: 2009, Donald Harbour