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.