Intolerance

I have become allergic to my life
habitual thoughts now blur my mind
cover my eyes with sticky film
convert my zest to lethargy
coerce focus into distracted myopia

habitual tropes and memes
invade my throat and nostrils
tender mucous membranes
mount an attack to expel
offending foreigners
mundane reports of murder
meanness, bigotry
celebrated stupidity
provoke nausea
my deepest bowels
roil in toxic discomfort
unable to digest the daily feed
of meaninglessness

habitual people
poison my skin
I break out in boils at their touch
sleep-less for the obsessive itching
this thin barrier
between me and you
crawls with tiny parasites
I want to run
so the wind resistance
knocks their stabbing, sucking mouthparts
away from my blood

habitual places
enter my lungs like noxious smoke
obnoxious smog
polluting where grief resides
once pure fresh
and cobalt blue
memories follow me like clouds
loss and regret
I can’t see through
can’t breathe true
despite my coughing

I have become allergic to my life
What was habitual is now intolerable
the accumulation overwhelms
I have become antibody to my own flesh
all passageways to the outside world
clogged, constricted
sore, irritated
depleted

Perhaps I need a thorough cleanse
stronger meds
stricter rules
further tests

Maybe I need to migrate
to a more suitable climate
like thousands of misunderstood infirm
misfit fledglings
midlife metamorphing
heeding an internal beacon
navigating the uncharted
before me.

© S. Rinderle, 2015

the meaning of life

My life means nothing
to the world

White men still murder Black women
in church
even after sitting in their pews
Confederate flags still fly
at full mast
in the aftermath
Politicians still lie
with their black eyes
and gun powder lips
Dim-witted masses
still cheer wild and blind
for their Savior

They want me to think
my life means nothing
to the world
Their gnashing teeth savor
my beaten-down bones
and tired flesh
My fierce optimism and tender heart muscle
nourish the fiery acid
of their putrid bellies
like forsaken bodies
in concentration camp ovens

I will become poison in their bowels
refuse to break down
kick my way out the other end
intact and fortified
I will shake off their filth
like a muddied dog
The growing throng
of kind hands around me
will midwife my rebirth
the pushing out of this rotting membrane
of constriction and intimidation
I will continue to speak truth
now turned up louder
I have been forged in the crucible
of their patriarchal terror
their shortsighted self-serving
smallness

I am Bigger than that.
We are BIGGER than that.
They are a blip
on the radar screen of history
a burp
during a long banquet of progress
long view trajectory over time
of increasing freedom and equity
We are the future
we won’t live to see
it doesn’t matter because
#OurLivesMatter
to our children

I don’t know what happens when we die
no one does
those who profess this knowledge
accept a comforting deception
to stave off this uniquely human affliction
this recognition
we are mortal

Meanwhile
if my life means nothing to the world
I will make it profoundly meaningful
to me
It will be a radiant statement
that NO I was not complicit
in our self-annihilation and
YES I was afraid but

NO!

I was not silent
and I did not lie
still.

© S. Rinderle, 6/20/15

This too…

Sun set long ago
indigo twilight
rain falling like conversation
precise, round, insistent
solitary me
in the solitude of a song
patient under a tree
minutes like hours

If you wait long enough
the rain will pass.

Compacted dust softens to mud
mud yields and liquefies
unexpected deluge
landscapes shifting
rock faces crumbling
identities changed forever by the flood

If you wait long enough
the rain will pass.

Sobbing heart finally cracks
its sour juice oozes up
into throat
metallic and guarded
squeezing out of tearducts
in waterfalls of grief
certain their source is infinite
this ache permanent
this loss unsurvivable

If you wait long enough
the rain will pass.

© S. Rinderle, 2013

Just Say No

Just say no
until you can say yes
a resounding, full-bodied, soulfelt
YES
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
YES
to hope, joy
and
love
a minefield covered in daisies
I gingerly step
holding my heart in my hands
a heart that is
Mine
ready to explode
I hold the pin
steady
I say no to
death, destruction, pain
confusion, doubt, fear
in my mindfield
I say no
just for
today
I say
no

© S. Rinderle, 2008