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Poems By Kristina Marie Darling


for my girl on the corner

(of the dead-end street)

eyes deep
like coffers

your mouth
a burning bush

skin that keeps
a record
of the bad
habits of the dead

mornings are just
the beginning

start saving furniture
from the fire

Cat's Cradle

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

then solitude
would have a different voice

waking up
unfathomable for you

if you were not dark
or green-eyed
I would still
read Vonnegut
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 -
an excess

of something,
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 Toes.

She was a participant in the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop 2004 and attended the Washington University Writers Institute on a scholarship in 2005.



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