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,
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,
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
“La Diosa de Oro” left behind),
rushing to school
her famous day had just begun.