Written while hiking in Hingham, MA at the reservation “World’s End” on December 21, 2012—the day that the Mayans predicted the world would end.
Perched falcon, fleeing rabbit,
Posted trail map for hikers,
Rusty bench from another era,
The seated elderly man, titled bowler cap,
Unanswered letters from Connecticut,
Overturned ceramic pots,
Sloshing waves upon the shoreline,
Windblown flakes, snapping flag,
Snow-heavy cedars slanted
Into the hillside like soldiers
Plodding on their final march.
By Anna Akhmatova (trans. By Domenic J. Scopa)
And Lot was trailing close behind the messenger,
Immense and bright upon a mountain, black and large.
But his wife’s heart loudly spoke, both strong and stranger:
“It’s not too late, you still can turn to face the purge
And see the crimson towers forged by native Sodom,
The square you sang in, courtyards where you danced,
The empty windows of a tall forgotten house
Where you bore children for your dearest husband.
A solitary glance—a sudden pang of crippling pang,
Her eyes no longer seeing anything at all—
Her body formed into a pillar of transparent salt—
And her quick feet rooted to the sprawling ground.
But who could mourn for this misguided woman?
Doesn’t she seem the most insignificant of losses?
Yet my heart will not forget the human,
The one who suffered death for one look back.
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, Malpais Review, Les Amuses-Bouches, and Fuck Art, Let’s Dance.