Passion & Risk

Stood waiting for the 990

                                            pound animal

                            to fall

        But suddenly

swiveled suddenly, suddenly

                                            the bull’s enormous

                    enraged head swiveled

                                                        and the curving

        horn caught him       José Cubero known

                                                                            as Yijo, “little

                                            boy,” at the last

                    minute gored

as the sun was setting

                                as he delivered the estocada

                                                                    his final sword


and the crowd rose as one

                                and twilight gasped

        This bull has killed me

                                            his best friend said

                    were his final words

piercing him through the heart        


of its left horn and

                                            standing him

                                                        straight up in the air

Copyright © 2017 by Forrest Gander. Used with the permission of the author.