Kristina Marie Darling


The final scene  wasn’t the pastoral embrace they had  all  been
hoping  for.  The  field was  just  a field, its  flowers  gone  white
with waiting. Enter the other bride, her elaborate dress already
three  shades  darker.  A  flash  of  light  in  the trees, and a rifle
fires in the distance

Tell me  which is more sentimental, the lace at the hem  or  the
idea  that  I  was  the  only  wife all  along. Somewhere else,  the
decent  women  are practicing  their  scales. But really, there is
no  judge,  no  jury,  and the church bell still sleeps alone in the
tower. The nights  here are pitch dark, but long enough to hike
back   to   the   meadow.  It  goes  without   saying  the  dead  sit
quietly  in their little  chairs.  Each morning, I turn up the heat.
I wait for the summons to be slipped under my door—


Kristina Marie Darling is the author of over twenty books of poetry. Her awards include two Yaddo residencies, a Hawthornden Castle Fellowship, and a Visiting Artist Fellowship from the American Academy in Rome, as well as grants from the Whiting Foundation and Harvard University’s Kittredge Fund. Her poems and essays appear in The Gettysburg Review, New American Writing, The Mid-American Review, Third Coast, The Columbia Poetry Review, Verse Daily, and elsewhere. She is currently working toward both a Ph.D. in Literature at S.U.N.Y.-Buffalo and an M.F.A. in Poetry at New York University.