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Rising up from my bath snorted the ghost
of a bull, all ruined from some bastard

picadore’s lance. From where I sat, almost
all of his soft, looping intestines swirled

in the water, and the sulfur and breath
from his nostrils hissed. He had gored the man

who had slain him during the “third of death,”
“tercio de muerte,”
fight. What began

as a haunting ended with me sewing
the bull’s head upon the matador’s vast

corpse. But being a vain ghost, I also
sewed his cojones, leaving them hanging

below his knees. The rest of the day passed
with us snogging mad in the back meadow.



I’m using terms here taken from the lexicon of the Spanish blood sport called bull-fighting. A picador is one of the horsemen that jabs the bull with a lance. Tercio de muerte is the third part of a bull-fight where the matador finally plunges his sword into the weakened bull. Cojones are, of course, testicles.