For the Death of a Bull by Suicide
after its horns were set on fire
If this were the Running, he might live,
for any nearness to him
is admired risk. In Foios, Valencia,
The Bulls in the Street fiesta turns
the alley into a stadium, stands full
at night. There is no cape
(only that color to keep his blood
from the narrative); no picadores cut
& sap his massive shoulders.
There’s no turn, the matador’s veronica,
to clear the brow of the bull
like the saint who wiped Christ’s bloody face.
Here, the upper hand does not
admit reprisal, lighting each point into
a grotesque votive
no god would answer. When he maddens,
& so, he must
launch his body into the trunk
of the wooden pole where he was bound,
he takes himself
down from the cross of his horns.
Max Heinegg reads “For the Death of a Bull by Suicide”
Max Heinegg is the winner of Lily Poetry Press’s inaugural Paul Nemser Prize. His first book, Good Harbor, is forthcoming spring 2022. His poems have appeared in 32 Poems, Thrush, Nimrod, Pangyrus, and Crab Creek Review, among others. He is a recording artist whose records can be heard at www.maxheinegg.com and a high school English teacher in Medford, MA.