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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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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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I can’t drive past a dead animal splayed and stinking on the side of the road in the summer heat without thinking of you. The tang you’d left behind inside your apartment is no different than a fucking stupid deer, rotting; we’re all animals, after all. The similarity is incredibly depressing. Makes my mind wander into the macabre. I can’t help but envision you hanged upside down and sliced open in some hillbilly pole barn with your entrails falling from your middle, and plunking into an orange Home Depot bucket.

I scold myself aloud: Don’t think about that!

I can’t help it. Intrusive Thoughts are a part of O.C.D.

You never knew that I live with this condition, and I’m glad I never told you. You had enough to worry about; you weren’t mentally equipped to handle this sickness that colors me dreadful.

 

© Kindra M. Austin

(image: DeviantArt)

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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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The

sun

came begging again

at my doorstep; I turned him

away. Got no use for gods at play.

Too much decease has grown me up.

I am weeds, immune to

disease, and I only live

in order to survive.

But to what end?

So questions

Depression,

mine. Depression

is the paparazzi—

always trying to catch

me crazy, display me

for eyes, judgmental.

Mental Health Care

is a one line joke.

I am weeds, and I

fucking choke

behind lips

upturned,

lovely.

 

© Kindra M. Austin

(image: Pinterest)