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Dirt in my mouth—

I’m still spitting grit.

I used to play in the driveway with my Big Foot

monster truck

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

always howling.

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

(image: Glamour)

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Nothing scares me.

I’ve built my house around those who haunt me.

Brick and mortar rises tall—a keep.

The older I grow, so does my fortress.

Soon, I’ll be left alone to revel in my ghosts in peace.

Soon, I’ll be left alone, where I belong.

Soon, I’ll be happy in spite of mourning.

Soon, I’ll hold them, and be able to feel their weight.

Soon, we’ll throw a party in the house I built.

 

© Kindra M. Austin

(image: DeviantArt)

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I’m head over heels,

tied up and strangled

by my entrails—

my insides

excised—

you keep a terrific tongue

unleashed between liar’s teeth

stained with victory and breast milk.

Man-child, I’ve never known a coward

quite like you. Your truth is treachery;

and it fucking guts me.

I’m head over heels

in disgust with you.

 

© Kindra M. Austin

(image: Pinterest)

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I buried myself by the seaside ‘neath a sky

patchwork grey and sobbing. Never in life had

I been so severely revered for my truths.

Posthumous respect is a backhanded compliment that

bleeds into my grave, cold and unimportant.

Ain’t nothing much that matters to a corpse.

 

© Kindra M. Austin

(image: Pinterest)

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Come on down from there,

if only for a quick minute.

The last time I saw you is

unsatisfactory in hindsight.

Retrospection is a bitch dressed in my skin—

I’ve become leprous.

I may not pray to God, but I do

talk to Jesus. My words

fall on dead ears.

Christ will not come to me.

And if only for a quick minute, you will not

come down from there.

*

Your mother keeps on ringing me.

I don’t answer.

Does my cruelty hurt you terribly?

Some things I just can’t do to honor you.

To answer is to satisfy Jehovah, and I do not

wish to please Him. He’d used her willing hands to

ruin you. I’ve decided that

forgiving trespasses does not heal me.

Leave the forgiving to God.

Some things are simply

unforgivable

by the human heart.

*

You were both meaner and kinder than me.

I float about the in-between,

neither better nor worser.

Mother, how could you have

ever thought yourself

lesser than me?

You were my teacher—

the one who’d showed up

drunk every day,

but a teacher nonetheless.

And I wish you’d come down from there,

if only for a quick minute.

*

Come on down from there,

if only for a quick minute.

The last time I saw you is

unsatisfactory in hindsight.

 

© Kindra M. Austin

(image: Rick Richards)

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Memories are marbles

banging against one another,

and bouncing off the walls of my skull.

I’m scrambled brains with a side of ketchup.

 

You were the same as I am.

Or I am the same as you were—

you’re dead.

 

Dead. What an ugly word.

Dead. Dead.

DEAD.

My mother is dead.

 

I’m scrambled brains with a side of ketchup, and

you’ll never again call me your baby girl. The sound of

your voice is just another marble…

 

© Kindra M. Austin

 

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Thinking about it now, I’m not the least bit

sorry for the hateful shit I’d said to you

eleventy years ago, when I was a kid

and you fucking knew better.

I rescind my apologies.

Not that my sorries ever meant a good

goddamn to you, anyway—

they were ever only as true as your own,

anyway.

Insincerity: a common factor.

 

No, that’s not true…the truth is complex.

 

I wish I hadn’t apologized so much for defending myself

against you.

And I wish you hadn’t rolled over so easily whenever

I called you out. I wish you’d properly raged against

the reasons you were the way you were. Sure,

you’d spoken of the ghosts that breathed inside of you—

warned me of them—but never did you

exorcise them. Never did you make them scream in terror.

 

Not that your armor went unused. You’d fought your best all your life…

 

I am greater than you had ever hoped to be. I’ve welded your chainmail

to my own, and I am running into battle with your heart sewn into my banner.

Mother mine, I know your truths; yours are mine, and I will defend them,

always.

 

I will make your ghosts and mine scream in terror.

 

© Kindra M. Austin

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Making money hand over trigger—

gotta get that paper if

you wanna be a Christian

Gangster.

Seeds of Judas the quick silver taker

prey;

tell me what it feels like living in lined pants, and

I will oblige you with my medical bills.

You deserve a laugh,

after all, it must be awfully

grueling

strategizing behind our backs—

making money hand over fists

full of pills that we can ill afford

while you all enjoy those orgies with

insurance companies.

Tell me what it feels like to come in the

faces of the dying.

 

© Kindra M. Austin

(image: Bitch Media)