my dad died

by Justice Cow

I loved you I mean, I still love you Even when you got confused Even when you got mean I thought I’d cut through Bring you back with reason And practicality I thought you’d listen to me When I said “dad, I think you need some help You might be overwhelmed But we’re here to help You heal” Now I miss you And the shape you left In the atmosphere What a nest Your beating heart could be Now I look for you In the corners of my room Wait for hairs to stand on end Waiting for a haunting To hear you say “Jessie, I think you need some help You might be overwhelmed But I’m here to help You heal”
Fistfuls of the fish bowls and the slicing spines and the grinding bones you can look at it and see nothing accident on the interstate there’s a body dent in my license plate there’s a churning sticky darkness to living unrelenting unrelenting chunked up like some shark meat it’s a missing toe in my memory should be right here where I left it Guttural when the kidneys go whale eyed when the bloodwork shows all we all had known all along unrelenting It’s unrelenting unrelenting unrelenting history like a bath of blood snuff films in my grandma‘s phone I got ivory for every occasion suck it up in my growing gut I’m an icon for the gushy stuff put your teeth to the concrete laugh on like an animal in the TV light with your ear torn it’s the alcohol coursing through you it’s the fitted sheet your scabs grew into it’s the numbness that devoured you It’s unrelenting unrelenting It’s unrelenting unrelenting
Why did you wait so long To pull your shoot Back when your back was strong And you could rebuild you Like our treehouse Up and off The cold hard ground Your choices made a fist Led me by the scruff I foraged for sustenance In the ashes of your trust Can I burrow like the birds In the cold hard ground Sun washed you sit with me Kind swimming through your face Burnt hands and hollow cheeks Lost in the master fade Can you hear me Where you lie In the cold hard ground I just want to say please wait to go
The first time I drove Was to pick up my brother From the library Because you had been drinking And Tyler was waiting I remember you flirting With all of the servers And the female clerks Yeah you could make them giggle While you sent back your dinner And I’d be so embarrassed That you couldn’t hold it together Read the room Read the room You drove us to the woods To take turns shooting at our garbage Yeah, we were so careful That one of us is deaf in one ear You told us lots of truth But you loved a good story Like how we might be royalty Just wait till your 18th birthday And I’d be so embarrassed If my words were causing damage Read the room Read the room Read the room Read the room The last time that we spoke Didn’t know you had days left Almost automatic I love you’s almost habit Was planning when I’d see you next At the airport or a hospital But we didn’t get there And I didn’t get to share My time With you Watching grey days Grow blue Watching your soul grow back Petting my dog on your lap Hearing your laugh Being my dad
Like Mars 02:41
Snow in my sock Pink in my cheek Higher the laugh Higher the peak Harder the fall back down Thinking of you in physical form Warmer the skin Warmer the sun Is it cold where you are? Like Mars Do you feel far away? Like a star Can you feel anything? Sweat on my brow The hoot of an owl Summery sun simmering now Orange and red like love Sandpaper tongue Weird to be home I hear your fist bang on the wall Are you still mad? Like Mars Do you feel far away? Like a star Can you feel anything? Now you Don’t have to be anything you don’t wanna be Don’t have to need anything you don’t want to need Don’t have to feel anything at all Like Mars Like a star As you are
I sink below To someone else’s body I scour the dirt To absorb their story Of floods and love It’s just me and my eyes Finding each other When the glass goes black And the credits roll over The floods and love The bullets and blood I am not here Being a person I disappear into a mountain I shuffle back To my own body The whirlwinds blow And I feel nothing But floods and love The bullets and the blood The getting at all But wanting none I am not here Being a person I disappear into a mountain But not to fear Summer’s coming
Didn’t dream aloud till you showed me how To see a rock for a crystal And when the wind was howling out Knew where you kept your pistol We got strong chins To hold big grins And see the good What I would do To be like you Didn’t joke around till you showed me how To make them wait for the punchline And when a loss was mountainous You taught us how to show up We got strong chins We do hard things Sometimes we bruise What I would do To be like you Didn’t play a note till you showed me how To make mom smile in the other room And when you’d jog you show us around Feeling the tough getting easier We got strong chins And we dream big Until they’re true I’m just like you I wish you knew
Ruminations 05:31
I’m Doing Fine Why Do you Keep prying It’s my life And I do what I like My Daughter You’ve Gotten So Judgmental It’s my life And I do what I like Till the shadows come And they come for blood Chew little bits of you off Till you’re gone All I’m left with are my ruminations
Send My Love 04:02
When you head out there Tell him I miss him And hold his hand He will need people to work his limbs for him He will want the end But oh he just needed reminding Of your love Needed it close enough to know It’s still there When you said good night He asked to be upright But he fell in the night He wanted changes To reverse the stages But the damage was All we could do was Send our love But I didn’t I was too messed up So now I believe I’ll Send my love Even if it turns to vapor You get my love Even if it doesn’t matter Here’s my love
Listen to the sound of the rain While we’re safe and dry inside We had a close call today On those green river rapids Almost tore off our heads Took your cell phone and sandwich And my heart Couldn’t be more sure That adventure Keeps us alive Look how the strength of the wind Shaped these Oregon sand dunes It slipped into night on our way And we tumbled under full moon While we’re candy and pizza fueled Leaving always too soon And my heart Couldn’t be more sure That adventure Keeps us alive And I’ll think of you that way Singing and playing Hiking and driving Telling a story Always with time for me And my heart Couldn’t be more sure That adventure Keeps us alive


This album is a cathartic and honest collection of songs exploring my dad’s alcoholism and passing. The album captures the complex emotions of grief, love, and regret through poignant lyrics and melodies.


released September 5, 2023

Vocals- Jessica Kion
Harmonies- Caitlyn O'Brien, Ben Levin, Bradford Krieger, Tyler Brasch
Acoustic Guitar- Jessica Kion
Saxophone- Tyler Brasch
Electric Guitar and Synths- Ben Levin
Drums, Banjo, and Bass- Bradford Krieger

Recorded at Big Nice Studio
Produced and Mixed by Bradford Krieger
Mastered by Randy Roos at Squam Sound Studio

In memory of my dad Robert Kion, and my lovely friends who left this year Dave Morrison, Dave Cohen, Flower Zandriya Duke, Bredon Jones, loestus, and Ryan Tanaka.

Extra special thanks to Ben, Hineni, Cate, Colleen, Brad, Tyler, Randy, Kristin, Michael, Jean, Audrey, Henry & Kitty, Josh, Luke, Faye, Jake, Colton, Carrie & Eden, my mom, Cathay & Mike, Debbie, Marc & Lollee, Robert & Rachel, Julie & Rosie, Sadie Dupuis, Auntie Moon Beam & Jim, Linda & Art, Tim, Fraser, June & Darla, Bruce, Ben, Shane, Jill & Hudson, Kyle, Chaimes, Roz & Violet, the Levins, the Hyams, Adam and Mariana,Travis, Elliott, Morgan & Rune, Joplyn, Paige & Anais, Jamie and fam. Jeff, Kaija, and Rioux, Hoonah, Clamb, Beautiful Headquarters, Shabui, the Friedman-Kassis', Aunt Eva & Uncle Max

Thanks to my Patrons for helping make this album possible: T Birchfield, Joshewha, Monica Rose, Tim Brown, Dave, James Cameron, Winter, Lazerbolt1’s folks, Billy Jeckel, John, Steve Salevan, Howard Hoyt, David Ryskalczyk, Pigg, Noah, Daniel Sitler, Phyllis Friedman, Colleen Broughton, Lizsmalls, Kristian Gårdhus Wichmann, Paul Kacmarcik, Leilani Roser, James Harris, Dave Stern, Leonard Trinceri, Michelle Monette, Vince Welch, Fred Lessing, Marc Levin, Clay Walnum, Eli Roberts, Josh Merhar, Michael Roberson, Deborah Rubin, Courtney Swain, Achim Stommel, Ben Levin, Make Weird Music


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Justice Cow Boston, Massachusetts

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