Two Poems by Carolynn Kingyens

These two poems by Carolynn KIngyens offer the reader the possibility of reconsidering how we understand everything from our most quotidian moments to our deeply held sense of our fragility and failings: “I think this must be the abundant life/” where “possibilities are found everywhere.”

by: Carolynn Kingyens

Abundant Life

In time, all the bananas
will go black in the cracked,
cerulean bowl –
a Brooklyn treasure
found on a stranger’s stoop.

Here, front stoop
means free stuff.
Here, fruit is an hourglass.
Here, Seal is Morpheus.

We’re never going to
survive / unless we get a
little crazy / his song goes.

And I am crazy about squid
and shitake, sinew and
cartilage; not caring
what I look like, sucking
the fish bone-broth dry
like a savage,
double-fisting the pretty,
embroidered bowl.

We keep making the same
sake toast, until you do
your drunk De Niro,
and I begin 
to see you in a new light.

We walk the extra blocks
to listen to the bells
of St. Agnes a little more.

And I think, This must be

the abundant life,
Christ’s cup overflows.


Small as a Mouse

I mistook tolerance as love
for so long, I grew small
and quiet, a mouse
making a home
inside a load-bearing wall,
content with a matchstick 
bed and wedge of Swiss.

My high frequency
heartbeat tortured the cat,
but no one else
in that house.

Even now, I still apologize –
Sorry, you bumped into me;

Sorry, you got even
over a perceived slight;

Sorry, for your spreading
lies so convincingly,
I lost my past

and present at once.

My friend, by contrast,
grew stoic and unmovable.

The night we met for coffee,
we were two shadows lost
in conversation –
one big as a brownstone,
the other small as a mouse.


Carolynn Kingyens’ poems have appeared in Boxcar Poetry Review, Schuylkill Valley Journal, Word Riot, Glass Journal and The Potomac. She lives in NYC with her husband of almost 19 years, two amazing daughters, an old cat and a young rescue dog.

0 replies on “Two Poems by Carolynn Kingyens”