The vaquilla charges the picador, bravely,
receiving her wound, then returning for more.
Braveness in the stance, the head erect,
eyes open, watching the teenage torero,
suit of lights sparkling, sequined sequences,
feet dancing, cape held low, the vaquilla
on train tracks, gliding past.
The vaquilla charges at shadows,
plays her role in this meta-
theatre of cape and sword.
But it’s only make believe.
The vaquilla pauses at centre stage,
flanks heaving heavily, baffled, mocked.
The farmer leaps the barricade, grabs her tail,
tugs her to the ground, stands on her neck,
and shears her horns.
The maiden, mocked and marked,
escapes through the gate:
the scent of the fresh blood flowing
arouses the waiting herd.