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Red Rose3

Anthony was our leader,
other friends.

We set out on foot and by
bus to Celaya from San
Miguel de Allende, the
year 1995—the quest
to watch a female bullfighter
fight.

Cristina Sánchez, torera
Española, beautiful, strong
and proud.

Graceful, too—a show-woman,
showing up the men and
bulls alike,

her signature move to tire
the bull in a dance of
deception, then go to her
knees while ripping open her
vest to show the bull world
that she was a woman.

A woman in the man’s domain,
crossing over to show it could
be done.

***

I threw three red roses into
the ring that day.

The last one, my friend Mike
helped as Sancho Panza did
assist Don Quijote so dutifully:

We placed a simple business card
of mine that had my name, phone
number and address on it…
through the bottom of the rose,
poking a hole.

We jimmied the card up the stem,
and I threw the rose into the ring.

Cristina had picked up the other
two roses… fine.

With this third and final rose, she
bent, noticed the rose and
myself, the thrower—still
standing near ring’s edge,

and she did look at me and
smell the rose.

Her eyes smiled, and we parted
ways. She never called, but the
spirit knows what happened that
day.

And Anthony, who
just watched two crazy, romantic
young men act fools for love
shook his head.

His eyes did smile, too.

And we brought love and joy to
San Miguel and to Celaya that
day.

Que viva México.  Donde vive
fuerte que sé es adentro de
mi corazón, todavía aquí
palpitando, esperando su
llamada mientras bailo en
el Jardín con Los Mariachis
de Bonito Tecalitlán.

Guardo mi 200 pesos, y preparo
mi próxima rosa.

¡“Guadalajara,” por favor, Capitán!
¡Tengo 50 pesos, vamos a tocar
para Dios si Mismo!

Pero no, necesitan dinero los músicos
para vivir, entonces, paso mi gorra
allí al publico, y voy a ganar 200.

!Si, “Guadalajara” tocamos!  !Y La Negra
ya sigue!

Que viva México hoy y pa’ siempre.
Viva en este, mi sueño, mi poema,
mi rosa de hoy…

Es lo que recuerdo cuando recuerdo
Cristina Sánchez, torera Española,
La Rosa Roja de Celaya…

Oh, boy!!!!