hot breath curls like a noose
around elbow, horn prods rib cage.
bellows squeeze the air out of his lungs
and he imagines them peeling apart like
the flowers in the square.
the bulls are close enough that
shirt, untucked, catches on
a gleaming horn, loops around it,
ties him to a fate of thundering hooves
and red-eyed death.
el diablo / el toro
the words meld together in his mind.
the crowd screams at him run
run run, and the rhythm matches the
thundering on the cobblestone.
but the streets underfoot seem to
rise up, uneven and rough, undulating waves
slippery with something he thinks might
be fear but cannot bring himself to look.
something in the crowd catches his eye:
red silk, fluttering in July wind.
he stumble and the bulls are upon him—
he can hear the hooves crashing down and
realizes too late that the red silk is
Yong-Yu Huang is a Taiwanese teenager who has lived in Malaysia for most of her life. Her work has been previously published by or is forthcoming in The Heritage Review, Eunoia Review, and Parallax Literary Journal. In her free time, she can be found struggling with the flute or watching Doctor Who.
The Ekphrastic Review
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