Tara Skurtu

Hanger
October 23, 2020 Skurtu Tara

HANGER
You needed one
but you didn’t
know the word,
and saying it to you
wasn’t enough—I
needed to show you
why it was what it was
named. I went around
the gutted unfamiliar
house I had planted
us in together alone,
searching for something
sturdy enough to hold
my weight. But the pipes
were too hot, the beams
too high, ledges too thin.
You followed me around,
not knowing what I was
trying to do, no need
to understand why
a hanger was a hanger—
as soon as I’d given one
to you, you had nothing
to hang on it after all.
Us, alone together
in someone else’s house
I’d created in my mind,
you followed me down-
stairs to the room with
one low-hung beam.

Tara Skurtu is a two-time Fulbright grantee and recipient of two Academy of American Poets prizes, a Marcia Keach Poetry Prize, and a Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship. She is the author of The Amoeba Game, and her recent poems appear or are forthcoming in Salmagundi, The Common, The Baffler, and Poetry Wales.