Indian River at Dusk

The first and only time I caught a sheephead

big enough to eat, black and white and breathing

in my hands. On my way to get ice I got

distracted, tossed Dad’s keys in the water.


I was a good Catholic: I walked him to the spot

and pointed. I made up a lie, but I named

everyone I loved to God before falling

asleep in my yellow room every night—


God was a word person. After two

Hail Marys and an Our Father I’d be

good again. Like my words, I knew where

the keys landed. I’ve tried to write


about this before. For over a year I made myself

guiltless, couldn’t preserve the thing I caught

or get the syntax right. I didn’t know about

currents. I can’t keep anyone safe.




Tara Skurtu teaches Creative Writing at Boston University, where she received a Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship and an Academy of American Poets Prize. Recent poems have appeared in Poetry Review, Memorious, DMQ Review, The Dalhousie Review, the minnesota review, B O D Y, and The Los Angeles Review.

Issue #41 November 2014
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