GI Distress


Don’t be stoopid. It’s not me—

definitely you.



Shush, now.

I know

break-ups are rough. Tough like



Ever watch a dog chew on processed cow skin?

That shit’s indigestible; causes intestinal

swelling and diarrhea, etcetera.



some relationships are (un)just

over-sized break-ups in-waiting,

glazed with meat flavoring for optimal taste.



I used to lounge with you

outside in the summer dark.

Under the stars,

we’d swig bottles of Miller Lite

and inhale Marlboro tobacco;

two Alphas trying

to cancel each other out.




That’s a goddamned lie.


never had int’rest

in your use-less


Now you howl by yourself,


who will clean up your vomit.


It’s not me—

definitely you.


© Kindra M. Austin

In the cabbage patch, she stains the earth

I’ve always been a morbid thinker.

As a child, it was my task to wash the dinner dishes; I earned three dollars a week. Mom and Dad didn’t allow me to handle anything sharper than a butter knife, but when no one was looking, I’d take hold of paring knife, or a steak knife and press the point lightly into my belly button. What would it feel like? Then I’d dare myself, you could do it if you wanted to. Go on, they’re not paying attention.

Now that I’ve had a dagger thrust keenly into my belly, I can absolutely say it’s a fucking awful sensation—pain impressively brutal. So brutal in fact, it keeps me from crying out. I feel the need to howl, but maybe I won’t have the chance.

I sensed the steel was hot with hatred; my skin prickled upon the piercing. And all of my guts began to itch and burn the deeper the blade was plunged; it’s this barbed sort of burning that keeps me hushed. I can only talk silently to myself. No one will ever know my thoughts about today. Fuck…

I didn’t scream or start when I caught him walking up the cobblestone this morning; I was kneeling in my vegetable garden, stunned by the thrilling and sour sight of him. Ten years are a long time, but not long enough. He was on me before I could stand; his skin smelled French, and his breath Irish. He forced me onto my feet by the nape of my neck. He used to love my neck. I asked him why he couldn’t have just remained by his darling grey seaside to brood forever, and then he stuck me. I dropped my trowel.

I felt the hilt press against me, and I looked up into his eyes. He’s going to totally eviscerate me now, I thought. I wanted him to, but he didn’t. That’s how much he hates me now. So here I am, bleeding to death in the motherfucking cabbages.

Above me the bleached clouds drift high across the blue, and the summer sun shines brightly upon my killer and me. My killer—he’s lying beside me, running his sticky fingers through my hair. If not for my life leaking out of me, staining me, staining the grass all around me, I’d think it quite a romantic scene…