The curandera 
laid hands on my belly and said
tú eres muy corajuda, ¿verdad?
I don’t think I was as startled
by her observation of the subtle anger
and hot-temperament
living in my organs as she kneaded them
as I was unnerved by my brain’s response
the brief headline flashing across my prefrontal cortex
shifted from “no, I’m not!”
to “how did she know?”
while my downstairs brain
just put up its dukes
and started to fight.

I’m not as interested
in writing about all the things
I’m angry about
or angry at
and how I have
excellent reasons and outstanding references
at this point giving them words
makes them hotter
expanding their presence in my ribcage
anchored in by hooks that stretch
their resilient mucoid bodies
from one rib to another
inside my hollow trunk
where somehow a heart
still manages a steady rhythm
like a volcano
that makes no sound
yet seethes and cooks
boiling silently
telling itself eruptions
are socially unacceptable
and alienating
allowing the molten toxins
to flow inside instead.

Once my brainstem is activated
it starts yelling over
the stories I tell myself
rational explanations
for why this unsettling
and unjust situation
feels so awful
or why it even exists
in the first place
bracing myself for the repeat
of some past trauma
or abandonment
feeling completely
out of control
unable to affect the outcome
feeling helpless about my own
and inability to handle

So no
I’m actually not
I’m slowly awakening
from my coma of impotence
But yes
I guess
soy muy corajuda
I do store anger in my liver and bones
you see
I have excellent reasons
and outstanding references.

© S. Rinderle, 2013

7 thoughts on “Corajuda

  1. Good reflective piece. Got me thinking.

    One thing, tho — I THINK I’ve heard that word used in the sense of “gutsy”, which would surely also describe you, friend, no?


    • Hello Friend! Thanks for your comment! Hmmmm…. I would definitely say “gutsy” also describes me, and fits the poem, but I have not heard corajuda used to mean “gutsy”, at least not in Mexico as far I can recall. I just consulted two dictionaries and apparently it can also mean “bold”, and in the South Cone it can mean “brave.” So you have identified even more ways this poem communicates, Friend, gracias! 🙂

  2. Wonderful ending with reasons and references. And that description of resilient mucous bodies stretching between my ribs will stay with me. Original and visceral! 🙂


    Sent from my iPhone

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