SAD FILM (WITH FAINT MUSIC)
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.