You didn’t have any
that Sunday afternoon
at the family table—your chain-
smoking father, too weak
to tend his backyard garden,
still masculine enough to want
to rip that necklace from your neck,
in silence he slid the first slice
onto my plate and waited for me
to eat the one thing I told myself
I’d never eat—I swallowed
the bite whole. Here, I was
the foreigner. I was your guest.
The bird moved when I moved.
It was like a klonopin, it slept
between my breasts—opened its eyes
only when I peeked inside my shirt
and let in light.
Tara Skurtu is a Boston-based poet and translator currently living in Romania, where she is a 2015-2017 Fulbright lecturer at Transilvania University of Brașov. She is the recipient of two Academy of American Poets prizes, a Marcia Keach Poetry Prize, and a Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship. Her recent poems have appeared in The Kenyon Review, Poetry Review, Tahoma Literary Review, and Poetry Wales. Tara’s debut collection, The Amoeba Game, will be released by Eyewear Publishing in the fall of 2017.