Kristina Marie Darling

The Spectacle
It was the night of his first performance and the audience had arrived. Each of the gentlemen, magnificent in pinstripes and a red silk tie, seemed ready to bare his teeth. And while the men tapped their feet, waiting for a grandiloquent concerto to begin, even the arched brows of the women seemed to threaten. Yet there is something inherently carnivorous about an audience, the musician thought as the lights dimmed. He struck the first chord. The ladies, gathering their long blue skirts, were the first to rise.

The Tenor
It’s evenings like these I think he’s singing again, all diaphragm and gusto, his arms outstretched with the dark blue notes of La Bohème. Even the crystal begins to hum. Yet when the chorus starts up, crooning languidly into the greenish night, a color-less moon hangs speechless in every window. The only sound—a beveled mirror shuddering in its frame. Then the room grows still like a little bell chiming on the hour.

Kristina Marie Darling is a graduate student at Washington University in St. Louis. She is the author of seven chapbooks of poetry and nonfiction, including Fevers and Clocks (March Street Press, 2006), The Traffic in Women (Dancing Girl Press 2006), and Night Music (BlazeVOX Books, 2008). She has written on contemporary poetics for The Boston Review, New Letters, The Colorado Review, Third20Coast, The Mid-American Review, Redactions, and other journals. Recent awards include residencies at Rockmirth and the Centrum Foundation.

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