for my beloved on the eve of an end

It’s finally over
that’s what the papers say
my black-and-white world
suddenly all
hues of gray

The still, leaden weight
in my chest
dropped anchor
sunken ship of hope
a dreadful nausea
in my gut
suggesting guilt

Others dance for glee
in my place
finally legally free
but no one else sits here in my soul
but me, and
“it’s just such a damn shame”
I can’t even claim
the prize of self-righteousness
for being the one to leave
I was neither victim
nor faultless
I knew the other he was just a reason
I regretted as soon as we happened
a perfect catalyst
in a messy paradox
of just-what-I-needed
just-in-the-nick-of-time
plus sober realizations
immediately after the fact
my better judgment failing
my best self, abandoned.

Is integrity adherence
to impersonal rule
unwavering for all time
or truth words
that change the world
and themselves
as soon as they’re spoken?

What is this awkward communion
of Divine and flesh?
This being-human
so full of grace
and unforgivable?
Maybe it’s as simple as
opening my heart to
the horror and relief
belief
there is no code to crack
no compass
there is no someday
no dress rehearsal for life
no rescue after-party
this is as good as it gets
and so am I
still
immensely lovable
in my stumbling confusion
rawness and
flawedness
still
worthy of grace
and forgiveness

I am adored

If I can be redeemed
as is
no returns allowed
no questions asked
warm to the light
shining through the chinks
in this dull, stifling armor of human nature
maybe I, too, can forgive
without spite
I, too, can love
without scorn
I, too, can come down from judgment
and waive the pre-requisite
of perfection
in others.

© S. Rinderle, 2013

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