I Stopped Praying (from Heavy Mental)

Kindra M. Austin – Prayers failed

I heard

her troubled murmurs

tangled with the

soft gravel of a man’s voice;

his name was Not My Dad,

and he was dancing

with my mom

in the too bright kitchen, down the hall.

Their shadows came in waves,

crashing

into the darkness

beneath my bedroom door.

They’d just finished fucking,

out in his van.

I wondered if she’d fucked them all—

his friends were there,

laughing.

Laughing.

Laughing at my mom.

I remained in my bed,

swearing to a god

that I’d never let her suffer

again.

But she did,

and I stopped praying.

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