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 The Adirondack Review, 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 is an Associate Editor at Ink Brush Publications.
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Newlyweds in the Sarcophagus
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“Newlyweds in the Sarcophagus”
Egyptian Exhibit, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
When they found us in the scintillating vessel,
after we’d been cloaked in dry, straitjacket swirls of bandages
that once preserved only the kings,
our bodies spooning in the fetal position,
it likely looked as if we were asleep.
Dreaming something. They left us like that,
not because of the serene, sarcastic shape
we formed in death,
and not because the shared poison suffused our muscles,
and made them believe, in the final moments,
that they were really sheltered in a womb,
as if the human body had always been an unborn fetus¾
No. It was because, by the time they found us,
we’d been spooning for centuries,
and when they tried, they couldn’t separate us,
couldn’t lay us flat, and cross our arms across our chests,
as was custom, like the other corpses in the exhibit,
so that they might appear like lonely lovers struggling to stay warm.
They aren’t lovers, but in death they were revived
to everything they had been once:
ordinary people fading back into the air…
Even that was evident in the sterile, unrelenting light,
and frequent shadows tour groups cast
as they roamed around,
and we gazed out from the display,
the endless, empty windows that showcased what was.
What was to come came closer
in a sudden clamor of conversations,
the glass confused with their reflections
as they gawked and snapped photos.