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Our loved ones who’ve risen

and live now in the bless-ed skies of rose gold—

they beam down upon you two,

as we all who breathe are

smiling upon your grand

unification.

 

This day, you’ve both chosen to

tie your souls together before devoted eyes.

We are all bless-ed

witnesses

to these oaths.

We are all bless-ed

to be in the presence of genuine love.

 

Nicole—

my sweetest girl,

I know you

as surely as I know the cadence of my heartbeat.

The first time I held you,

I knew

you were meant for me.

 

Now you’re meant for him, too.

 

Isaiah—

young man of conviction,

I trust you

as surely as I trust the rhythm of my lungs.    ,

I know

your hands were meant for hers.

 

The journey has begun;

 

Go forth with Virtue of Truth in

mind,

mouth,

and deed.

Honor one another with Respect;

for weaved within its fabric are the

sinews of great character.

 

The journey has begun;

 

Go forth with all of our love and blessings.

 

 

Nicole and Isaiah Rodriguez—25 August, 2018 

 

© Kindra M. Austin

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For a minute or more, I was dead as you,

as you were technically dead

before the end was absolute—

before your brain conceded.

For a minute or more, my world was edged in blossoming dark,

engrossing, on the cusp of consent.

Blackbirds congregated, chattered ‘round my head, and

they called dibs on my vital organs—

heart, liver, kidneys, and lungs.

One expressed explicit interest in

my spleen—

keen student of human anatomy,

morbid corvid.

Then a cardinal came with your breath on its wings,

and I breathed.

I just breathed.

I breathe still…

 

© Kindra M. Austin

image: Houston Audubon

 

 

 

I listen to Radiohead

when I contemplate killing you—

I want to smash your glass and

get at the inside of your meaning.

Shells tell different truths—

look at me.

See,

I’m right and tight

with my plastic teeth,

and painted eyes that never blink.

We mislead, you and me.

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© Kindra M. Austin

(image: Gifer)

 

 

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Tramadol Toxicity—

that’s a real bitch-ity.

Surely

Narcotics

are dirty

Sarcastics?

 

High risk

for addiction

and dependence.

Can cause

respiratory

distress and        h

death               g

when            i

taken in  h

doses

or combined

with other

substances,

especially

alcohol.

 

You didn’t mean to,

Mama.

Accidental.

Too much pain.

At least I know now.

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Hi.

I’m Kindra—alcoholic.

It’s been thirsty seconds since my last drink, and

thirty nine years since my last confession.

I turn forty in December.

I’ve kissed a few girls,

dropped acid

once,

finger fucked myself eleventy hundred times, and

committed adultery with an Englishman

who won’t leave me alone—

my pussy is lined with gold.

I smoke pot with my dad,

who abhors alcohol.

 

Hi.

I’m Kindra.

My mother was an alcoholic.

I don’t know how many times she’d

finger fucked herself, or how many joints

she’d smoked while riding shot-gun with my dad.

I don’t know if she’d ever dropped acid, or how many times

she might’ve wished she could confess to a god who’d

forsaken her.

All I know is that her life isn’t my problem—

I don’t have to make amends on her behalf.

 

My name is Kindra, and I battle against alcoholism.

I understand why I use, and I’m determined to

crush the crutches.

 

I’m determined to live for me.

 

© Kindra M. Austin

(image: The Piano Bar)

 

 

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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)