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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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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Fuck grocery store etiquette.

Tears for Fears tells me to shout, so I let it all out

in front of the dairy case while inspecting my perfection—

mourning after reflection—in the fingerprinted glass.

My cheeks are hollow

but my gut is bloated

from too much diet soda (I’m watching my figure) and vodka.

 

In front of the dairy case, blocking access to the skim milk,

I let it all out,

and I like the way

my pretty mouth contorts

into a beastly maw

when I cry.

 

© Kindra M. Austin

 

Understand me. I wished him dead. I did have half a mind to kill him once, with a cast iron skillet, caught up in the white-hot frenzy. I was fourteen years old, and convinced I was prepared to murder the man choking my mother in the kitchen while a beef roast baked in the oven. He’d caught my arm reaching into the bottom cupboard and slammed the door on me repeatedly until I fell back on my ass and slinked away, screaming.

Screaming.

I was always screaming for Ken to stop hitting my mother; to stop tugging on my sister; to stop frightening us; to leave us alone, and go off someplace to fucking die. The motherfucker was a habitual drunk driver. Why didn’t he ever crash into the trees? Or swerve off a bridge? Never once have I felt a pang of guilt for wishing–praying for liberation to come in the form of this man’s well-deserved death.

During the years my mother and Ken were together, I suffered through my first crisis of faith; and I mean faith in the universal sense. My father failed to save me and Tara. My mother failed to save us all. And what’s fucked up is at the time, I thought I was failing.

I often wished I’d wake up dead, being that Ken was indestructible. And I berated myself for being too cowardice to follow through with any of the suicide plans I had concocted in the night. But then I’d see my little sister, defenseless, and I knew I’d be a coward* to leave her alone; if I didn’t want to live for myself, I had to live for her.

*Suicide is not about cowardice. It is about pain, and the desperation to be relieved of that pain. To say I would have been a coward to take my life is what I needed to tell myself to be strong and fight for my life. I mean no disrespect.

_______

Tomorrow Wendy was part of the soundtrack of my teendumb.

Lost my religion

because you had lost yours, Mom;

innocence was stripped away

with his turpentine.

If only I’d been

your god, true. Omnipotent;

then I could have saved your life.

Young life worth saving

was left to spoil,

and I feel the loss of you–

who you might have been

if not for the man

with the turpentine.