Summer 2009 - THE POTOMAC

Two Poems
   Carolynn Kingyens

The Weight of Words

Some words bear enough weight
to incite mass mobs in closed spaces,
words like FIRE!, words like He has a Gun!
Imagine the people’s panic,
their pushing and pulling down,
crawling to the nearest exits for life.

Now imagine a naive girl
who hasn’t learned respect
for the weighty-word “never,”
who uses it too loosely when speaking
like I’ll never do that
to only do precisely that and more –
a kind of cosmic karma,
kind of cosmic self-curse.

After we make anniversary love,
he takes a shower
as I flip through the channels
searching for a talk show.


No one warns you
about the movement in marriage,
that slow-motion drift towards indifference
when even a revenge lay
doesn’t rouse the spouse anymore –
no more slamming of doors,
no more crying in parked cars
in front of houses of your husband’s lovers,
waiting for glimpses of girls
who are always younger versions of yourself –
leggy, bright-eyed, too trusting,
the whole, wide world waiting
at the sacrificial alter to be opened and discovered.

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