A Wedding Poem

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Our loved ones who’ve risen

and live now in the bless-ed skies of rose gold—

they beam down upon you two,

as we all who breathe are

smiling upon your grand

unification.

 

This day, you’ve both chosen to

tie your souls together before devoted eyes.

We are all bless-ed

witnesses

to these oaths.

We are all bless-ed

to be in the presence of genuine love.

 

Nicole—

my sweetest girl,

I know you

as surely as I know the cadence of my heartbeat.

The first time I held you,

I knew

you were meant for me.

 

Now you’re meant for him, too.

 

Isaiah—

young man of conviction,

I trust you

as surely as I trust the rhythm of my lungs.    ,

I know

your hands were meant for hers.

 

The journey has begun;

 

Go forth with Virtue of Truth in

mind,

mouth,

and deed.

Honor one another with Respect;

for weaved within its fabric are the

sinews of great character.

 

The journey has begun;

 

Go forth with all of our love and blessings.

 

 

Nicole and Isaiah Rodriguez—25 August, 2018 

 

© 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

 

 

 

For the Women I’ve Lost

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Nothing scares me.

I’ve built my house around those who haunt me.

Brick and mortar rises tall—a keep.

The older I grow, so does my fortress.

Soon, I’ll be left alone to revel in my ghosts in peace.

Soon, I’ll be left alone, where I belong.

Soon, I’ll be happy in spite of mourning.

Soon, I’ll hold them, and be able to feel their weight.

Soon, we’ll throw a party in the house I built.

 

© Kindra M. Austin

(image: DeviantArt)

Last Judgement

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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)

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

You Remind Me

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You are droplets of sunlight in the midst of a rainstorm,

reminding me

the Constant breathes for me

when I am drowning.

 

You are the Roar when my words won’t come—

speaking for me,

reminding me

I am never voiceless.

 

In this world disparaged by the Blight of divisiveness,

you are true Eden,

reverberating the vibrancy of the Righteous.

You remind me to love.

 

For you, I too, will be

Bender of Light,

Queen of this Jungle,

Garden of Peace.

I will remind you to love.

 

© Kindra M. Austin

(image: Richard Peters)