Love is a Mechanical Bull that No One Dismounts Elegantly

Valeria Tentoni
b. 1985


An abandoned ride
at a fair,
challenging the elements.

Everyone stops at the bull and says
I can do this.
Everyone, without exception, has confidence
in their heels
and they mount the electric violence
of its back. They’re still confident when the movement
as if a powerful, invisible hand
has slipped a token into the machine
without warning.
The metallic click cuts through the sound,
a tiny bulldozer
the silence. Then everything begins,
and there’s no way
to keep the body straight, that form
we once thought we dominated but that now
reveals itself to us
as if it has been waiting its turn
biting its nails
since it was given a name.

If I were a mouse
I would rather
lose my tail in the trap
than miss out on my cheese.

Over and over again.

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