Dirt in my mouth—
I’m still spitting grit.
I used to play in the driveway with my Big Foot
while Mom and Dad argued in the kitchen;
their voices obliterated the window screen and
shattered my veins.
My bottom lip was always bleeding from
punctures pressed by top teeth, bunny sharp.
My skin was always sweating because my heart was
I talked to people no one could see but me, and I was
frightened because they were real to no one else.
Sometimes they visit when I’m half-awake, ageless
faces reminding me that I’ll never be
anything but small for as long as I breathe.
Sometimes they visit when I’m half-asleep, and
I wonder what my mother’s ashes taste like.
© Kindra M. Austin