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
of bricks at your head-
board, this fricative
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.