Matadora (The Bullfighter)

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

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