Capsule of a Cowboy by Yari Jacobson

It
always
starts the same.
I push down my hat,
clench my teeth, pull the bull rope
from my truck bed, nod my head, and strut into
the arena. I pay my fee, draw my bull, resin my
rope and wait my turn. The announcer mispronounces my
name. I’m next to the chute wedging my legs between steel
and beef. Push down my hat, clench my teeth, pull the rope tight and
nod. The chute is thrown open like an alligator’s mouth, and the bull
tears out like an escaped convict. He does his thing, I mine. We become
night and day, white and black, good and evil. Which is which I’ve yet to
decide; I just clench, spur, lean and wait for a buzzer that will never
sound. Then, finally, weightless as helium, I am free. No repo man
looking for my truck, no cheating wife or sick kids. Just floating in
eternal nirvana, I become the newest galaxy far from the Milky Way.
And in this infinite moment I learn that I already am born with
all I need to cry and swoon, live and laugh, to love and make love and
die. Eons pass, and finally, weightless as lead, I fall flailing
into a large pile of horse shit all down the front of my
brush popper. I pick up my hat, push it down, clench my
teeth, gritty from tiny rocks, pull my bull rope from the dirt and
nod to the rodeo clowns as they distract the “Widowmaker.”
The buzzer I thought was broken works
just fine and is blaring, accusatory like a
giant middle finger
pointed at
me.
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