Feeding Time

Tara Skurtu



Let me be a line, a word

in the middle of a line

in your poem, conjunction

before I, the suffix

of an action, a single letter

looping the next

to its comma, anything

but a period, any

thing, a number-

four suture, needle

driver, negative

space, wallpaper

of bricks at your head-

board, this fricative

breath—your teeth,

my bottom lip.



Every few days, we banged the hollow

legs of the old dining room chairs

down on the concrete until,

like a spray of beads, the smoky brown

cockroaches poured onto the patio

and we scooped them up, carried

them to the aquarium in the garage,

shook them from our tickled hands,

and watched them sprinkle down

to the mouths of our hungry toads.

Tara Skurtu teaches at Boston University, where she received a Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship and an Academy of American Poets Prize. Her recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry Wales, Poetry Review, Plume, Memorious, DMQ Review, The Dalhousie Review, and the minnesota review. Her poems have been translated into Romanian and Hungarian.

Illustrated by Meghan Murphy.


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