Domenic Scopa

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Erotophobia--Fear of Sexual Expression
            age 15, eight years after the rape

The slam of the screen door,
such a sullen finality--
Tell me, how can I calm
the static field of my awake and trembling skin?
I want to be forgiven with an explanation,Artwork by Gene McCormick
with some measurable fact.
In other words: This is why it happened.
And yes: This is how I’ve felt for years.
And, of course, I’d like to steal back the past.
Maybe I’ll convince myself I can…
But what could I do with it,
except what I did?
If I escape to Prague, again,
will the anonymity of foreign language soothe me,
the husky, Slavic consonants like Novocain injected
before the dentist drills, exchanging minor pain
to numb the possibility of greater pain?
This finality, the weight
of the screen door as it slams--
Why shouldn’t it hurt?
Maybe it will pass,
like morning dew and sunshine…
But whatever’s wiped away will surely return.
Perhaps I’ll find some necessary task,
replacing the record player’s needle,
or fixing the mailbox that leans to one side,
some task that seems impossible right now.
La vie belle, la vie belle--
Don’t think about it:
The science of black holes is easier to explain.


Domenic Scopa is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee and the 2014 recipient of the Robert K. Johnson Poetry Prize and Garvin Tate Merit Scholarship. He holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. His poetry and translations have been featured in Reed Magazine, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Reunion: The Dallas Review, Belleville Park Pages, and many others. He is currently a Lecturer at Plymouth State University and a Writing Center Specialist at New Hampshire Technical Institute. His first book, The Apathy of Clouds (FutureCycle Press), is forthcoming in 2018. He currently reads manuscripts for Hunger Mountain and Ink Brush Publications