Dominic Scopa

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Elegy for Aidan
            “Swaggering through that celestial door”- Yusef Komounyakaa
You spoke basketball
          last time I saw you, cramped
between two point guards, the out-
          of-bounds line. Your parents
couldn’t recognize the funeral procession,
the losing team lining up
          to shake hands. I never realized
how similar you look
to my brother. The scoreboard
          turned off, I could see
your shame−a missed free throw−
your childish pout, as you made
plans to have a sleepover. A poppy bruise
          tumor on your cheek from where
you took the captain’s elbow. Before
I could say sorry for the loss,
you dead-legged me, teasing
          that I brought my girlfriend−
you were chunky, big-boned,
spry enough to sprint
          through that celestial door.

Euthanasia II

My baby brother−often
strumming his guitars−
the cedar cremation-box−he glances
at the tribute with
          a downcast calm, these bones
and flesh turned
decoration for a mantelpiece
of sorts.

Do not resent him thinking
          he’s seized
what in fact he’s
misunderstood (though already
it has set him sobbing).
And it’s unsaid, the pleasure
          you stir in
when you say it’s just a dog,
as acid does with metal−bleakly, lovingly.


Domenic Scopa is the 2014 recipient of the Robert K. Johnson Poetry Prize and Garvin Tate Merit Scholarship. He is a student of Vermont College of Fine Arts, where he studies 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. His poetry has been featured in 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, and Fuck Art, Let’s Dance.