December 7, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Tim Foster photo



Carolynn Kingyens




The Abyss



Once on the A Train,

an old woman

with milky eyes

stared at me for too long;

and I remembered

Nietzsche’s warning:


And when you gaze long

into an abyss, the abyss

gazes also into you.


So I said an inward prayer,

and did not look back

when I got off at West 4th St.


In New York,

we have salves, oils,

candles and trinkets  –

a cure-all for bad vibes,

the evil eye,

generational curses.


In the Bronx –

La Santa Muerte.


Today, I will meditate

on Muhammad –

the kind bodega owner,

who calls Lucy,

the gray and white cat,

up from the dark cellar,

where it’s been sleeping,

or killing,

so my daughters

can pet her;

so my daughters

can smile.


Tomorrow, I will open

my eyes in anticipation

of a new morning.


I will turn and marvel

at your eclipsed soul-body

still sleeping.






Last Summer



We buried the baby bunny

in a Brooks Brothers box

under the moss tree

in the corner of our yard


It was our eagle-eyed

daughter who spotted it

from the back door;

thinking, at first, it was

a wad of hair, and then,

a fallen bird’s nest.


You skimmed the dead

baby bunny out of the

pool for us; laying it

before bare feet in our

circle of curiosity.


The girls insisted on a

proper burial so your

mother, a retired florist,

made up two small

bouquets from the garden –

black-eyed Susan, morning

glory, a few white

hydrangeas, tying it together

with twine she found

from the shed – a bouquet

for each granddaughter

to lay atop the bunny’s


Your father said a quiet

prayer, and I recited

a poem

that never became a poem:


God’s breath is inside you

and so the bunny.






Carolynn Kingyens

Carolynn Kingyens lives with her beautiful family in NYC. Her poems have been featured in Boxcar Poetry Journal, Glass Poetry Journal, Word Riot, The Potomac, Schuylkill Valley Journal, Across the Margin, and The Orange Room Review. Her poem, “Washing Dishes” was nominated for Best New Poets by Silenced Press.

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