Poetry | September 01, 2010
Poetry Feature: Danielle Cadena Deulen
Featuring the poems:
Corrida de Toros (featured as Poem of the Week, Jan. 4, 2011)
After the Twentieth Century
Lacan at the Carousel
I Want You Dangerously
Corrida de Toros
From earth, each star
is a likeness of the other, which is why divination
is impossible — the constellations are not Braille, but piercings,
wounds in the neck of a bull.
Perhaps the sky is a matador’s scarlet.
Or, no — perhaps the sky is the stadium in which we sit, watching
the bull, the banderilleros stabbing his neck, the way he falters,
throws his head wildly, his yellow eyes trying to focus
on the source of pain–
The men are drinking from leather flasks of wine and the women
avert their eyes, or a few young men avert their eyes
and some young women lean toward the scene so far forward it seems
they’ll fall out of the sky
toward the earth again, where their bodies will be trampled
or swell with children. The mothers fret at this,
their fingers drawing near the frayed ends of their daughters’ hair
as if their children were fabrics they could weave
without touching. Everyone is yelling kill the bull,
except those who murmur I want to die
into their palms, into the palms of their neighbors
who turn back to their wine, or stand and begin to weep.
The bull staggers and we swarm into the arena
to drive steel points trussed with ribbon
into his crest, his throat, his knees — until the matador
drops his sword, sprawls in the dust. Night shifts around us,
mud-dark and furious — clouds like white foam in the mouth
of the sky, and we stare a long while
at the scene we rendered, trying to recall
how we arrived. Slowly, the curved horn of the moon
rises. Lament settles in the stadium tiers.
Some in the crowd begin to chant there is no balm
to assuage the mark of the body.
Others sing there is no star that leads us away from ourselves.
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