Hemingway’s Thirst

by Conor McKee

The black of its coat was oozing now like pitch
and spilling along the hoof racked rills of sand.
The writer sat, doped by the bloody ditch,
enjoying the raw art so “very fine, yet very sad”.

He knew from the moment it started
this was tragedy more profound than the stage.
Blood, another drink that numbed, as ribs parted
for a drinking horn that removes life and age.

He watched the beast strike,
the man crumpling in a tragic arc
till he and his spear stopped alike:
a typewriter bar hitting its dock.

Thirty years later it was
he who would feel the buck of the bull,
as the shot rampaged forth
to that last flash of the matador’s cloak.