Domenic Scopa

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Walk-in Closet

Nothing can tear down the walk-in closetArtwork by Gene McCormick
where bony hips slammed into me,
my virginity stained to the shag rug.
I thought I could leave it there.
I was seven.  I knew nothing.

He held my hips, his “tip” for babysitting.
the way I held my girlfriend’s when we made love,
when she pleaded “make me scream,” “make it hurt,”
before I pushed her head to the mattress.

I tried to make it hurt that much.



I sat in an armchair,Artwork by Gene McCormick
Three in the morning.
A Motel 6.

An air conditioner rattled
and blocked the only window.
A replica of Rembrandt’s

Self Portrait decorated the wall.
The figure reminded me of my babysitter,
bearded, curly haired.

A blonde was sleeping face down.
Rembrandt was staring at her bare ass
and bruised foot dangling off the bed.

As I fell asleep, I reflected on the first
two months of my relationship,
how I refused to tell her about my babysitter,

always inside me,
the child who died,
always inside me.

“this will be the last time,” heavily groaned,
the first hollow promise
branded to my seven year old self,

the same promise I vowed to myself
nine years later, after every time
I tried and failed to have sex.


Domenic Scopa was recently accepted into the number one low residency MFA program in the country, Vermont College of Fine Arts, and will attend there in June to attain an MFA in Poetry and Translation. He has worked closely with a number of accomplished poets including National Book Award Winner David Ferry and Washington Book Prize recipient Fred Marchant. He is currently the assistant poetry editor of Venture Literary Magazine.