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Requited by Kristina Marie Darling reviewed on Drunken Boat


Leaving Their Roses Behind 

Reviewed by Carlo Matos 

When a pair of doomed lovers wanders a garden, as they do in the very
first prose poem of Kristina Marie Darling’s Requited, it’s hard not to cast
them in the roles of Adam and Eve, the original doomed pair of the 
Christian tradition. “We walk to a rose garden in the dead of winter,” 
says our heroine, which suggests the garden may have already gone 
through its postlapsarian transformation, trapped as it is in “a season 
[that] never changes.” They stroll in a garden where the ivy is dead and 
the only cherubs about are made of ice-cracked stone. Right from the 
start, we sense the relationship, like the statues, is fracturing. “There 
are always so many things that can go wrong in a conversation,” says 
our speaker, which on the surface of things is a wonderfully simple way 
of describing how relationships often miss the mark, but it also has to be 
the most understated way of describing the ultimate failure of logos in 
the first paradise—a series of catastrophic conversations between 
YHWH, the couple, and the pesky serpent.

And like their Biblical counterparts, they too must eventually leave 
the garden: “The way out of the garden is simple. I let go of your hand 
and climb over a chain link fence.” The way out, of course, is always 
simple; it’s the way back in that is challenging like the walled garden 
of Milton’s paradise protected by warlike archangels with flaming 
swords. Milton’s couple walks hand-in-hand east of Eden, but for 
Darling’s couple to find their way out, they must simply break their grip
and make the climb alone.

Read the whole review here 

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