The Tale Of Angelica's Bull Fight

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She climbed out of bed, shook her head, and stood steady.

Twisting her torso, tipping on her tippy toes,

selecting her most colorful clothes,

she smiled at the sunlight through wide-open windows.

 

Yesterday in school, never expecting her path

to be blocked  by a very, very, large unreeling bull

snorting words in puffs of curses and personal innuendos;

of her color, her religion, her weight, her choice of clothes,

her friends, and the painful statements of her heritage;

mother, father, stepfather, stepbrother,

uncles, and aunts.

The bull pushed her mentally and physically

with such ignorance and arrogance of stampeding shame,

Angelica relinquished.

 

Feeling demeaned, gouged, her heart bleeding and sore

by the misunderstanding,

the mis-handling of life that allowed itself  to snort,

to spit, to bare its teeth, and then, become completely,

 unbelievably cruel with pain.

 

 

Rushing home, closing the door to her room,

Her head buried in a tear-dampened pillow,

 no longer able to cry, she fell asleep.

 

On a small table by her bed, laid a dry red carnation

taken down from above her headboard’s

 framed poster of “Conchita".

 

In her dreams,

sitting in a wicker chair

between the bed and her clothes, left on the floor,

appeared Conchita “matadora”.

Visibly aching, poked by a mean bull

they called “Chiclanero."

 

 

From situations to experiences,

from the offensive to the pervasive,

 to mistakes made and recapturing sensibility,

their stories and Conchita’s occasional swishing animations of a flowing red muleta,

filling the room up in a spirit of lifted anger and disappointment

in  a gesture without conciliation, with the tip of her fingers,

closing the door, revealing her struggling life, as a perfect Matadora.

No, as a matador.

 

 

Softly ending into dawn.

Their conversation subsided

in a night filled with excitement and adventure.

Conchita whispered why they met

and what to forget, in a kiss good-bye;

“within the strength of gentleness,

in perseverance and dignity, what makes bleeding stop,

is  one stroke of a kind, brave, and  an unimaginable act”.

 

 

Angelica climbed out of bed, shook her head,

stood steady

twisting her torso, stretched,

tipped on her tippy toes, and smiled at the bright sunlight

through wide-open  windows.

 

 

She stepped out of her room

in her most colorful clothes;

(dressed with the sword of precision

 and understanding,

“La Diosa de Oro” left behind),

rushing to school

she knew

her famous day had just begun.

 

“Within its small circle one finds life, death, ambition, despair, success, failure, faith, desperation, valor, cowardliness, generosity, and meanness—all condensed into the actions of a single afternoon or even a single moment.”  Conchita Cintrón, (matadora)

 

 

 

A Historical Note About Conchita Cintrón:

 She intended the final corrida of the 1949 season, in Jaén, Spain, to be the last of her career. She appeared in the ring together with the matadors Manolo Vázquez and Antonio Ordóñez. After performing on horseback with the bull, Cintrón rode to the box of the presidente and asked for permission to dismount for the kill. Permission was denied. This was her signal to leave the arena, and leave the killing of the bull to the novillero assigned to her for that task. Instead, she dismounted, grabbed his sword and muleta, caped the bull and prepared it for the kill. She actually went in for the kill and then dramatically let the sword drop to the sand. The bull charged. Cintrón stepped from his path and simulated the kill by touching his shoulders with her fingers as he rushed by. Pandemonium erupted in the stands and the audience threw hats and red carnations at her feet. 

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