Instructions for Conchita Cintrón,1933


by Jennifer Moore



To become the Blue-Eyed Torera,

make your first kill in the slaughterhouse.

Jabbing oxen with a dagger will be your drill.

One’s eyes must be open to one’s own horrors.


One’s eyes must be open to one’s own performance:

you’ll become diosa rubia, the Blonde Goddess,

Our Lady of the Marvelous Wrists. The audience will roar

but only if you fall in love with the sword.


Art’s the act of being carried from one mouth to another;

you must craft pandemonium in the crowd.

It’s your veronicas that will make it rain carnations. 
When you sculpture with the cape, you’ll disappear.


Be your own maestro. To the bull, say I’m the cloud

that taps on your shoulder. When the declining sun shines full,

I make my wrists do marvelous things. Through her glass eye,

the cat wants the robin’s beak, then the entire robin.


So coax the bull closer with a vow: This blood-dance

will be simulated. As you thunder by, I’ll touch your shoulders,

then let my sword drop to the sand. Be your own maestro.

A clever girl sees through the ruse, not around it.