Just Say No

Just say no
until you can say yes
a resounding, full-bodied, soulfelt
Just say no
until you know
until the price of “no” is too high
a loss too great to justify
Just say no
for today
tomorrow brings its own questions
answered in time
nothing certain but this
and change
For today
I say no
I let go
of expectation, obligation, promise
and you
I say yes
to hope, joy
a minefield covered in daisies
I gingerly step
holding my heart in my hands
a heart that is
ready to explode
I hold the pin
I say no to
death, destruction, pain
confusion, doubt, fear
in my mindfield
I say no
just for
I say

© S. Rinderle, 2008

Just Friends

Don’t get me wrong
I’m glad we’re going to be friends
but I don’t know how to do this.
I want you so badly I can taste metal
in the back of my throat
the constriction in my ribcage feels like
a fist-sized ball of ice
that never melts.

Today I finally cried
generous tears and silent sobs
of pure frustration and an attempt
at surrender.
And I dreamt about you.
You were you, I was me
it was today
with all that we’ve had to say
until now
but I went back on my word
to be more reserved
your eyes caressed mine
your body drew me back into its warmth
you kissed my cheeks and all around my lips
until I offered my mouth to you
slowly nibbling and savoring each other
our souls coming up into our breath.
And then the phone rang.

My heart has tentacles
with pitbull jaws
that wrap around my love
clamp down
and don’t let go
even when they should
their grip suffocates my lover
and sometimes even me
releasing only when they’ve been
chopped off and bloodied
or kicked in the teeth.
A neglected child
the familiar pain of trauma
gives me relief
in the absoluteness
of wringing a connection dry
squeezing out every last drop
of potential and tender feelings
leaving the remains desiccated
like the dried-out angry corpse
of a python’s prey
until it finally
blows away.
I’m more comfortable with the
sting of rejection or criticism
or complete betrayal.
I don’t know how to do this
to stay
in a partial yes
when no crimes have been committed
and no hatred allowed to grow
to stay
in an endless state of
never reaching orgasm or any
lingering forever in a state of
of wanting without having
while knowing the having
would bring me satisfaction
but not peace

and you’re not right for me anyway.

How do I see this glass half full
and drink of all the love it offers me
when what I crave is a full glass
— or a whole damn carafe —
’cause I’m so fucking thirsty.
How do we do a halfway goodbye
pruning off that which cannot be
allowing a new green form to thrive
when all I think are
what if and maybe
futile bargaining with destiny
addicted to fantasy
without reason
forgetful of my true
like a child wanting the candy more
because the desire is now
and the answer is no.
I am no spoiled child
but a hungry ghost
wandering in a rainforest
bursting with life and sustenance
but seeing only desert
clinging to the one oasis
I see
so close
it’s just a mirage
how I’ll survive
without that one palm tree
and gushing spring
unable to see through my desperate tears
this entire barren landscape is an illusion
for there is water, love and hope

I resent that I’m still learning lessons
I should have been taught over forty years ago
still trying to stitch together
the re-opened gashes
of my earliest wounding.
That’s why I don’t know how to do this
how to trust myself
contain these feelings
or have faith
in time
and life.
But, my gorgeous new friend
I’m going
to try.

© S. Rinderle, 2012