Domenic Scopa

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Faculty Meeting Morning After North Korea Launches ICBM

Someone was saying something about the sea,
how it is a dream that dies and is reborn,

about how things depart then reappear,

how nobody wants to leave
yet nobody wants to stay behind.

Someone was saying how there is a graveyard in her pupils
where the tombstones lean to brace themselves,

but the wind continues, anyway.

It’s been a long morning, and someone said something
about the stars, those scars of light

that heal without a sound each sunrise,
how everything, yet nothing, seems to change.

Someone mentioned how living is dying.

We started to believe the morning wouldn’t end.
Someone was saying how the break was over,

and no one noticed. Then someone said something
about the future, how it isn’t what it used to be,

how it’s so predictable.

Artwork by Gene McCormick


Two snowflakes can be the same, my student argued
in her English Composition essay.

It snows so much where I am from
I had to stop searching.

As when a father, after decades, gives up on a kidnapped daughter,
because suddenly he understands—He needs her to be dead.

There’s always something lost in the laugher
of a single blackbird, its talons tight around a branch.

Everything is missing. House keys, money,
smiles, minutes, patience. I remember

how my shrink would shake his head,
stare straight at me, and sigh.


Domenic Scopa is a four-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 The Adirondack Review, Reed Magazine, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Reunion: The Dallas Review, Prime Number, and many others. He is currently a Lecturer of English at NHTI, Concord’s Community College.