for my girl on the
(of the dead-end street)
a burning bush
skin that keeps
of the bad
habits of the dead
mornings are just
start saving furniture
from the fire
if I could recall who I had been
before you said that I was not enough
& I disowned the length of my hair
if you could understand past
your own elucidations
would have a different voice
unfathomable for you
if you were not dark
I would still
for him cold on Wednesday mornings
after the storm had passed
I practiced hunger near the church
on West 14th St. when I prayed to you,
a man with white teeth and a crooked brow.
You were the blank face I passed
while driving on a bridge,
but you've nested in my hollows
as pigeons would carve crevices
sleeping cold in every clavicle
and in every bone.
Your voice bled from my wall's fissures
like water though a coffee filter.
I've tried stopping them up, plugging the cracks
and thinking of my deaf grandmother singing,
but nothing's worked. You're a plague
of sticky locusts and my pen's been scratched dry.
Most endings are abrupt.
The Precise & Intricate Degradation of One Girl in America
His questions strike me
like something aged &
biblical, moths swarming
to menace the kitchen-
light. This is the year
of the locust
& nothing will be safe.
Hell is the cherry-tile
print of the well-swept
floor, and drops
of orange juice pool
merciless at my feet.
Ask and we will
receive nothing. No long farewells
with the hunger-stricken flies.
Our Frigidaire leaves
no thought to be desired
but there are always the insects
and I wonder what
has brought them -
and most of it
can't be denied.
Apartment in the City
What dopamine has
misfired through the syncopated
pulse -- childhood and the MasterCard
in transit (-delayed-)
through the bony arms of her remembrance
mother's coffee has grown cold
OFFICE FOR RENT and it would not
let us sleep OFFICE FOR RENT and here
there are always the women
Starbucks is foiled but she will not be one
3:00 AM and it's the lilt of Bacardi
traverses all the air
and waking a physical being not conquered
by prayer or any untouchable thing
Kristina Marie Darling's work has appeared or is forthcoming
in Offerings, Freefall, The Mid-America Poetry Review, The
Neovictorian/Cochlea, Poetry Motel, 3 cup Morning, Parting
Gifts, Chantarelle's Notebook, Telicom, Wicked Alice, Poetry
Superhighway, Dream Fantasy International, SubtleTea, Prose
Toad, Baby Clam Press, Quiet Mountain: New Feminist Essays, and
She was a participant in the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop 2004
and attended the Washington University Writers Institute on a
scholarship in 2005.