When the Bull Stops Fighting

by Tim Suermondt Issue: Spring 2016
So does the matador.
He drapes the cape over the bull
and says “Let’s get our wounds
cleaned up, old friend.”
Together they limp out of the arena—
the crowd unable to decide to boo
or cheer does neither.
Side by side they travel, the matador
and the bull, down an old, long
street El Greco could paint with his
eyes bandaged over twice.
The two shimmer in the heat of the day
and disappear, the cape on the ground,
the cape a saint shall bless, then destroy—
what is heaven but what we leave behind?

Tim Suermondt

Tim Suermondt is the author of two full-length collections of poems: Trying To Help the Elephant Man Dance (The Backwaters Press, 2007) and Just Beautiful (New York Quarterly Books, 2010.) His third collection Election Night and the Five Satins will be published in 2016 by Glass Lyre Press. He has poems published and forthcoming in Poetry, The Georgia Review, Prairie Schooner, Ploughshares, Blackbird, Bellevue Literary Review, PANK, North Dakota Quarterly, december magazine, Plume Poetry Journal, The Southeast Review and Stand Magazine (U.K.) among others. He lives in Cambridge (MA) with his wife, the poet Pui Ying Wong.  You can reach him at allampoet@earthlink.net