Snow

by Kristina Marie Darling

You courted snow, snow, snow and then it found you. Telephone, broken radio, messenger pigeon—feathers cutting through bone and the spaces between you. Not music but an ominous ringing. The students stopped looking at you and started their lesson, but I kept asking who else could hear us. Could anyone be sure of the corridor, holding us between its knobby fingers? Caught in the rain, you would later traverse the Other City, its darkened windows growing darker. There’s a word for this kind of betrayal and it sounds exactly like your name. Say it. You used to send me parcels, but I couldn’t fit them all in this tiny room. I hope you’re still sending them. There’s a cruel star in the February sky. Now the steps are covered in ice. They’re icy, that’s all. God of winter have mercy on me in a house of frozen meals, frozen songbirds, frozen wives.

Kristina Marie Darling is the author of twenty books, which include Melancholia (An Essay) (Ravenna Press, 2012), Petrarchan (BlazeVOX Books, 2013), and Scorched Altar: Selected Poems and Stories 2007-2014 (BlazeVOX Books, 2014). Her awards include fellowships from Yaddo, the Ucross Foundation, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, and the Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers, as well as grants from the Kittredge Fund and the Elizabeth George Foundation. She was recently selected as a Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome.

What surprising, fascinating stuff can you tell us about the origin, drafting, and/or final version of “Snow”?

    I lived in Buffalo, New York for three years and I can tell you that the poem is absolutely, one hundred percent true. The steps were icy. And there was another (better) city where it didn’t snow. It rained.
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