To Robert Hayden

By Eduardo C. Corral Read the Q & A

Less lonely, less . . .

I gave you
a tiny box.
You lifted the lid,
praised
the usefulness
of my gift:
a silver pin shaped
like an amper-
sand. As you fastened it
to your lapel,
I thought again of
that motel
outside of Chicago.
¿Te acuerdas?
I sat on the edge
of a bench,
untied my shoes.
Face down, eyes shut,
you breathed in
the aroma
of sweat & allspice
coming off
the sheets. I tossed
my ring—gold,
inscribed—toward a pile
of clothes.
But the ring
dropped in the small
of your back
where it rattled
& rattled like a coin
in a beggar’s
cup.

Source: Poetry (December 2011).

 Eduardo C. Corral

Biography

Eduardo C. Corral earned degrees from Arizona State University and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His debut collection of poetry, Slow Lightning (2012), won the Yale Younger Poets Prize, making him the first Latino recipient of the award. Praised for his seamless blending of English and Spanish, tender treatment of history, and careful exploration of sexuality, Corral has received numerous honors and awards, including . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Love, Desire, Romantic Love, Relationships

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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