Route 7 Review - Page 81

her face scrunched in effort to strike the proper pitch… It does not contort here as it does now, the disease erasing her memories like an etch-a-sketch shaken by a child. After I dropped her off at the hospital for good, I drove back to my home, in the rain, past the darkening storefront windows, and felt what I thought was peace flood my body, as if the rain was cleansing it. But even that was stolen from me, as all peace is, when I realized, later that night, that I felt strong only because she was in that place, remote from me… like in this framed photograph… She’s giving everything she can to sing to strangers, and hearing, in her mind, back at home, her children pounding on the locked basement door. I wonder if she ever questioned her husband whether he heard their cries when he struck them with the belt. For whatever reason, it matters, if only to me. And before she turns into paper. 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 is a student of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA Program, where he studies poetry and translation, and he is a literature professor at Changing Lives Through Literature. His poetry and translations have been featured nationally and internationally in Poetry Quarterly, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Reunion: The Dallas Review, Belleville Park Pages, Visions International, Cardinal Sins, Misfit Magazine, Poetry Pacific, and many others. He currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts.