Sister

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Sister hides

behind

brunette mantle

dyed

burgundy,

and I wonder

whether

obscured amber orbs

jammed inside her eye

sockets

are human,

or glass

beads that once belonged

to her favorite baby

doll.

 

Sister says,

I’m cursed like Mother,

and I wonder

whether

she owns vocal

cords,

or plastic mama

box

manufactured

in Japan.

 

If I shake her,

will she speak

faster?

 

Awful

lot of questions

Sister

can’t

answer

unprovoked.

 

© Kindra M. Austin

I Breathe Still

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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

 

 

 

At Least I Know Now

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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.

Anyway, Always

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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

For Only Me

 

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Every day it does reign, a

perpetual decrescendo—

melancholic melody made for only

me.

 

Deluge of disquiet

comprises choral pessimists

repeating in my head.

Depressionist

percussionist

beats heart that’s damn near dead.

Dirges designed for only

me.

 

But!

Though it does reign—my

melancholic melody—I

seek the one to share

an umbrella.

 

© Kindra M. Austin

(image: Pinterest)