Published: October 16th, 2014
Domenic Scopa is the 2014 recipient of the Robert K. Johnson Poetry Prize and Garvin Tate Merit Scholarship. His work was selected in a contest hosted byMissouri State University Press to be included in their anthology Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors, volume 3. He is a student of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA Program, where he studies poetry and translation. He is also a staff writer for the literary journal Verse-Virtual. His poetry and translations have been featured in Cardinal Sins, Misfit Magazine, Poetry Pacific, Untitled with Passengers, Gravel, Crack the Spine, Stone Highway Review, Apeiron Review, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Literature Today, Tell Us a Story, Verse-Virtual, Malpais Review, Les Amuses-Bouches, Shout Out UK, Fuck Art, Let’s Dance, Sediments, Birds We Piled Loosely, and Empty Sink Publishing.
Your opera career in photographs.
A choir. Which of them was you?
Perhaps it was your cropped pearl hair
that shed its color early.
You never dyed it.
And your neck.
Your taut singer’s neck strained for the audience,
your children, my breastfed self-
then I put it back.
The teapot whistled
from your tacky, jaundiced
hutch of a kitchen.
You commanded me to bring Earl Grey
and mistook my name,
a sour odor seeping where you sat
with your legs propped on the velvet recliner.
I could hardly believe how irritated I felt.
You had been doing so well with names and faces,
memories now an etch-a-sketch portrait
shaken by a child with some muscle wasting disease.
You always said that Grandpa
was “difficult” and “crazy.”
Either walking his Rottweiler too often
or picking extra shifts up as a janitor at Wal-Mart,
so he could “get away from you.”
If that was his reason, I can’t blame him.
I’m filled with nothing but shame for writing it,
but I couldn’t tell you. You’d just forget.