Closet Shorts

By Domenic Scopa

All were moving.
Teammates crowding Richie—
fetal++moaning++ cradling
his fractured foot—
Coaches gathered
with first aid supplies, combing
for a splint wrap.
I accidently slide-tackled
My babysitter scolded me.
Grass stained my soccer shorts.


Inside my nightmares
my babysitter’s there++again—
stripping himself
unconsciously skillful—
his skinny body walking
window to window
wrenching all the curtains closed
so sunup will not wake us

He kills the lights—
Turning them on I
he will not show me how
to stroke the way that
gets him off.


The soccer shorts
are still crumpled
in the closet’s corner
where the babysitter
tossed them—
years after he took me
I am still afraid
to see them.

Old friends question
what happened to Richie…

"What's in the Closet" ©Copyright - Jim Lukach

“What’s in the Closet” ©Copyright – Jim Lukach

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, and The Malpais Review.