Corrida at Malaga

Do you remember the novillero Gallen at Malaga?
Do you remember his second bull, the little one
That got him and tossed him and how Gallen ran after him
And slapped the little bull and cursed him.

Do you remember the Swedes that hooted him?
They sat behind us in the sun cheering for the bull
And cheered loudest when the little bull got him again.

But then Gallen dusted himself
And demanded the muleta.
And Gallen showed him the cloth and brought him charging
And wound the bull around his body, closer ever closer,
Gallen still, only the muleta moving, punishing the bull, reducing him,
The bull that had had him could have him no more.
It was the finest faena I ever saw.
Even the Swedes had been quieted.
I never saw anything like that, never.

Then Gallen eyed him up and sworded him cleanly and he fell
And the crowd threw in their hats and botas
And the president awarded both ears and the tail.
On the shoulders of the cuadrilla
They paraded Gallen around the ring
Until he asked to be put down before us on the sun side
And glaring up at the Swedes
He tossed the bloody bull elements into them.
The Swede behind us caught an ear and dropped it, horrified.

Do you remember that bloody ear in the sun at Malaga?

1 comment:

  1. I remember the ear as if it were my own, sliced by battle. I do not remember the lost years, but, but the living years. How you chased girls in Croatia, how you ran with bulls and then brought to Spain a true fan of the great battle and sport. Yes, your tail of sailing off a cliff in the desert of Spain, landing on thistles, concussion, broken ribs, covered in blood, slowly and painfully truing a wheel, a farmer giving you bandages, and sleeping in a room with a head injury alone for a week. How many meaningless years go by before we realize just a few memories are all that matter, but not a few memories but the journey that led to them, the courage to toss comfort into the bull fight and not only kill this soft comfort but to get it to fight back, to pierce it multiple times, to get it to bleed, to slice off comfort's ear, and to kill it with a clean sword, walk away, then journey to the next fight.


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