About The Writer
Kristina Marie Darling is the author of twelve books, which include Melancholia (An Essay) (Ravenna Press, 2012), Petrarchan (BlazeVOX Books, 2013), and (with Carol Guess) X Marks the Dress: A Registry (Gold Wake Press, forthcoming in 2014). Her writing has been honored with fellowships from the Corporation of Yaddo, the Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers, and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, as well as grants from the Kittredge Fund and the Elizabeth George Foundation.
Kristina Marie Darling
We were no longer in love. The sky, too, was beginning to show its wear. A silk lining could be seen through every slit in the dark green fabric.
I started to wonder where we went wrong. You were holding a map of the constellations. Each of the minor stars had been assigned to a square on a little grid. The map seemed scientific so I approached you.
You kept looking down at your compass. The needle spinning beneath a little screw. Maybe this is where we went wrong.
Above us, the sky is still wearing its green dress. The most delicate strings holding it all in place.
After the divorce, after your mistress, after the stars were eclipsed by the bright lights of the city, I gathered all of the broken dishes you'd left behind. I placed each one of them on a little shelf, recorded their height in a dark green book.
I began to realize the significance of this gesture. What is love but a parade of memorable objects, a row of dead butterflies pinned under glass?
You had always loved mementos. Once you'd even rented a small boat to find your missing porcelain statuette.
I started to wonder what other gifts you'd leave behind. The dried insects I'd find in each of your letters.
I closed the cabinet door, counted each piece of shattered glass, and tried to imagine them all in your perfect white hands.