Suffocation

I like wearing tight jeans
with spandex and an
elastic waistband.
I prefer tailored suits
and fitted shirts –
They feel like a portable hug
reassuring and snug
with minimal leeway
like swaddling clothes
providing a safe boundary
between the world and me
a clear container
for my diffuse sense of self
and expansiveness

My waistband feels tight now
my thighs like two overstuffed sausages
seams stretch and strain
I can’t breathe
I’ve lost ease
this town restricts like a corset
impeding the free movement
of my heart
choking the growth
in my belly
preventing me
from laughing fully

Is this why
my connective tissue
cries out
tendons groan
ligaments complain?
My skin erupts
in cracks and boils
My skin is my clothing
My clothes
no longer
fit.

© S. Rinderle, 11/2015

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6 thoughts on “Suffocation

  1. Susanna,
    I notice that you write with a lot of pain, and I would like to help you bring more joy into your life,
    if that is something you would like.
    You are a very creative and magical person (from what I observe in your poetry).
    I also have known deep pain (the death of my daughter in an auto accident at age 18),
    and for several years I wrote lots of grief poetry … which was very healing for me.
    Now I am beyond grief, and my life purpose is joy.
    I would be willing to meet with you, or just communicate using the internet,
    to see if I might be able to assist you in whatever ways you would accept.
    In particular, I invite you to share your poetry at some of our Fixed and Free readings
    on the fourth Thursday evenings of most months.
    Also, I recall that you are a singer, as am I, and I wonder if you might be interested in one or both of the two choruses in which I sing: Madrigal Singers and Soli Musica?

    All my best to you and yours.
    In Poetry and in Joy,
    Billy Brown

    • Thank you Billy for your kind invitation! I’m OK, poetry mostly comes to me as a constructive way to express anger and grief, so if one only knew me through my poems, they’d probably conclude I’m always suffering! Also midlife – as this poem describes – can be a real doozy for a woman, and this poem (written in November) describes how I no longer feel at home in NM. I’m moving to Los Angeles in May precisely to get more ease and joy into my life.

  2. This is indeed haunting but still beautiful. “portable hug”– aaawww. I love that! Sometimes I walk around the ol’ solo home wrapped in a quilt…not because I’m necessarily cold, but because it’s weighty and feels comforting. In mind, body, home, and heart, I wish you a most amazing journey through and into self-love.

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