Was that truly the last that
I’d see of you?
Was your last smile
That smile that I forgot?
Was your last word that one
I can’t remember?
Was your last gift to me
That something that I lost?
Is this a joke, this box
In which they put you?
Is your heart
Teasing me? It doesn’t beat!
This has to be a dream,
With dreamers mourning,
You never said good-bye to me!
Please, wake me up! I do not
Want to dream this!
All that I see here
Looks like empty shells and toys
You must come back – I live
To see you smiling,
You must because
I breathe to hear you voice
You won’t. I’ve seen the last of me
Laughed my last laugh,
Said all I’ll ever have to say
I cannot go with you, it’s not
My time yet;
Good I don’t have to
Stay alive – all I can do is stay
The afternoon sun, the thirsty gray sand
The bullring is ready, it’s time to begin
My suit’s made of fire, my sword’s made of steel
I’m fearless, I’m heartless, I know how to kill
I soak in applause and thick smoke from cigars
As the giant I’m fighting obeys my commands
My silky muleta* hovers over its wounds
I bare my estoque**, and we both know we’re doomed
We both lower our necks and prepare for the blow
As we aim at each other; it will miss, but I won’t
In a second – one movement of my merciless hand
It’s aorta is cut and my conscience is dead
My pray rests at my feet while I look in its eyes:
It’s not often one sees how their human heart dies
Black and gold, it and me, we’ve both paid our price
For this fight with no winners which so resembles life
When my suit is peeled off, my estoque washed clean
I will look in the mirror at the scars from my ‘win’
They don’t bleed anymore; they’re as soft as the dusk,
Which won’t pour its warm light into my bullfighter’s arms
They are covered in blood which I couldn’t wash off
I am one blow too late – that cannot be undone
Thus, tomorrow once more I will cross the same ring
To be where I belong – where I kill, where I’m killed
* a muleta is a piece of red fabric used by the bullfighter to attract and keep the bull’s attention
** an estoque is a sword