armor-sikelgaita (1)

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

Awkward Family Dinner.jpg

I dreamt I was miniature, traveling through a labyrinthine trailer park diseased with taupe colored muck, and flip-flopping mudskippers; pectoral fins glimmered in waves, despite the sunless, flat grey ceiling of a sky. My skin screamed at the loathsome goby touch, and my mouse heart beat savagely against its cage. Panic drove my legs, and then I was airborne, peddling.

I just knew I’d make it home.

Touching down in a blue sky town dressed in purple hued Victorian architecture, my height increased with every footstep; I kept growing until I reached 5 feet, 6 ¾ inches. I walked past a liquor store that also sold Native American art, and was reminded of you. The booze bottles displayed in the front window sparkled in the sunlight like your eyes did, once upon a time in another plane of reality.

Fade out…

Fade in…

I attend an outdoor Thanksgiving dinner. The grass is long, soft, and deep green—so lovely beneath my bare feet. A long table is sat atop a small hill; a plump, silver haired woman wearing a powder blue house dress is arranging place settings. I see your name card. Your plate has been set upside down, and your napkin, folded, placed at the left. There are no utensils, or chalice set for you.

Dead mothers don’t dine.

 

© Kindra M. Austin

(image: Rooster Magazine)

 

 

courtship5

You were goddamned gorgeous, and a fucking conundrum, my mother. When I think of all the men in your life who’d tried to solve your riddles, I laugh. The relics of those men inhabit a corner in the catacombs of my heart. I don’t want them, but each one retains a precious part of you, so there they shall remain. Yes, I’ll keep those tokens to remind me that I never want to be like you—insecure.

You’d always believed you required a man’s love in order to be completely happy. From the depths of my being, I am so sorry you’d lived your life on the cusp of a chasm so black. I wish you had known your true self through the eyes of your daughters; and I don’t understand why Tara and I weren’t reasons enough for you to be content.

I’m angry tonight—angry about your failures as a mother. And I’m pissed off at myself for even thinking about all of the men you’d put in front of me and my sister. You’re fucking dead—anger is a waste of my energy. What kills me is that I’d believed this shit was behind me. I’d forgiven you a long time ago. So why am I reflecting on my adolescence all over again?

Maybe forgiveness is infinitely intermittent, and real acceptance is bullshit.

 

letter-mail-mailbox-postbox

You are love letters sent

Over landscapes and seas

Underneath the heavens—

 

Abounding

Radiance

Eclipses my obscurity—

 

Lo lamenting heart

O’ mine

Violence

Eviscerated by

Deliverance

 

My friends, I thank you all for the care and kindness, the prayers and good vibes; truly, every word of encouragement and sympathy sent has helped with the mending. You are proof of the power of human connection.

Peace and positivity,

K-Love

black

WAKE

You come to me often, and I can’t take it—seeing your Cheshire smile, and glittering eyes. I’d thought dreams of you would bring me peace, but those visions of you animated, and the dulcet tones of your voice, well-remembered, bouncing against the walls of my skull only cause me agony. I hold a wake with a devastated ribcage, fractured from the distension of a lamenting heart—my heart, it heaves, weeping tears of its own, crimson.

MOURNING

The anguish of mourning is transcendental; and necessary in the process of healing. Booze is something else that’s necessary, though arguably. My mother was a legit alcoholic, perpetually grieving. And she smoked a lot—the cheap mentholated cigarettes with the most pungent odor. She always smelled like fresh cut flowers that had been dusted with baby powder, then bundled up and tied with twine to hang dry from the sticky ceiling of an off-road dive bar.

What do I know about bars—particularly the dive variety? More than I had ever wanted my mother to know that I know. She would have been sad to learn I’m a perpetual griever. I sincerely trust she lived her life believing I was bright yellow as a full sun.

Now, my mother is dead. She’s dead, and I have never before felt my soul twisting around itself so goddamned tightly. To mourn my mother is to feel actual, inexplicable pain. I can’t get drunk enough to go numb; only stupid enough to pass out at my computer desk after I’ve written some crazy enlightened bullshit that only a griever high as all fuck could begin to understand, and appreciate.

I’m so full of shit soaked vodka, I wish someone would haul off and punch me in the face. Preferably when I’m fucking blotto, so it won’t hurt too much—until I wake up the following afternoon.

To mourn my mother is to self-loathe. I could have loved her better. She’s dead, and I’m a knapsack full of dicks and hindsight.