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Monday, January 21, 2019


by Alejandro Escudé

Mason Lowe was one of the top bull riders in the country—a beloved, witty 25-year-old from rural Missouri at the peak of his powers. But inside the Denver Coliseum at the National Western Stock Show on Tuesday night, a bucking bull—the animal he built his entire life around—threw Lowe off and stomped on his chest. Lowe died later that night. —The Denver Post, January 17, 2019

The ride is dust and time, the bull above
the fray—Hard Times, the cowboy mounts
the hide a dozen times in three, each shove
the very last, the ticks like stolen counts
from bitter breaths, the man furloughed from earth,
a sarsaparilla moon, a jackknifed life,
the thunder-gong he heard, a fierce word,
followed-paradise, a shredded loaf
of human bread, Lowe winked at God and died,
his hat still on his shimmering ghost,
the monster’s hooves, a monster to us all,
made creation’s hole within his burning breast.
A man, a nation’s pride, the towering fall.
Let Mason fly, bull-twisted, hand in a rope
for eight: one half alive one half in hope.

Alejandro Escudé published his first full-length collection of poems My Earthbound Eye in September 2013. He holds a master’s degree in creative writing from UC Davis and teaches high school English. Originally from Argentina, Alejandro lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.