Laura Modigliani

Elegy for Your Shiny Shoes

                        For D.R.

Overcome with black, slick as a ruby, a cask of Rioja,
velvet mask of the matador, the suerte de capote has
begun. The horse-covered peto did not shield his eyes
from the silver lance, its spear tip, its slow draw of
blood. The trumpet sounds. Disambiguate!

Pointed was your case for formality, my picador, hard
yet tender in your timelessness. You were. Protection.
Worn. Taken for granted. I could not see your hot
concrete stare, your papier-mâché glaze, your ritual,
ancestral tradition. A matter of time. You planted
your flag. Your cape burst open.

You thought the bull was mad for the muleta was red.
But bulls, my friend, are colorblind. You rolled out of
yourself and under the hoofs of another. Did you feel?
Doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you were. You
charged. You thrust. You fell. Pointed was your case,
your soul could not be saved. You. Can no longer save.
The bass is gutted, my troubadour. It is the tercio de
muerte. Time to hang up your costume, your sword.