After the Reception

I watched you check out Simone Oliver
as she snaked by us in a fitted, black sheath dress
that showed off her well-toned arms
from a year of carrying the twins from Beijing.

Tonight, she was suddenly sexy
in the afterglow of grown-up conversation
as I shape-shifted into something different;
something in proximity to you at the reception,
something inanimate and dense
a floor lamp turned off, hard-back chair unoccupied,
a fireplace mantle balancing a clock, candles, car keys of guests.

I am your homely wife,
whom you will later undress and devour
after the reception, in the bed-cover darkness.

Carolynn Kingyens' poems have recently been featured in Schuylkill Valley Journal, The Potomac, Breadcrumb Scabs, Word Riot, and The Orange Room Review. Carolynn and her husband are expecting their first baby this summer. (

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761