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Eduardo C. Corral: Two Poems

Monologue of a Vulture's Shadow | Saint Anthony's Church

Monologue of a Vulture's Shadow

I long to return to my master
                        who knew neither fear nor patience.
My master who years ago spiraled
                              above a woman
trudging through the desert.
        She raised her face & cursed us:
                        Black Torches of Plague, Turd Blossoms.
She lashed out with her hands,
               pinned me to her shoulders.
                                   I went slack.
I called for my master.
               I fell across her shoulders like a black shawl.
Now I'm kept on the shelf of an armoire:
                        my edges embroidered with red thread.
She anchors me to her dress with a cameo of a bird
                                           clutching prey
as if to remind me of when my master flew close to the desert floor
        & I darkened the arroyos
                              & the jade geometry of fallen saguaros.
How could I forget?
               Sometimes my master soared so high
                              I ceased to blacken the earth.
What became of me in those moments?
               But the scent of decay always lured my master
        As my master ate, I ate.

Saint Anthony's Church

Instead of a large oak door, a loom. Instead
of mosaic windows, wedges of fruit.

Instead of a poor box, a loaf of bread. Instead of holy water, gin.
Instead of pews, beds. Instead

of hymns, gossip. Instead of the Stations-of-the-Cross,
instructions on how to build a kite out of canvas, sticks. Instead

of an altar, a butcher's table. Instead of the nailed palms of Christ,
the warm hand of my father on my shoulder.

Poet's Biography:
  Eduardo C. Corral was born and raised in Casa Grande, Arizona. He holds degrees from Arizona State University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in print journals such as Americas Review, Black Warrior Review, Churchyard, Colorado Review, Indiana Review, Meridian, Mississippi Review, Poetry Northwest, The Nation, Quarterly West and online at MiPOesias, Verse Daily, and Web Del Sol, which published a chapbook of his poems. His work has been honored with a "Discovery"/The Nation award, a New Millennium Writings award, and a MacDowell residency. His work will appear in an anthology of emerging Latino/a poets to be published by the University of Arizona and Digerati: 20 Contemporary Poets in the Virtual World, in 2006.

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