The Insignificant Wall

I know what you’re thinking
that I would slink away from the threat of your boot
like a centipede in hostile territory
or fade like crimson on vivid summer smocks
hung from country clotheslines
left too long
in the rays of your scrutiny

What were you thinking?
That I would melt like tallow
in the heat of your glare?
Shuffle away
defeated eyelids drooping south
shoulders bearing a cloak of shame
woven by your shouts?
That I would gather up my beloved toys
broken by your cruel, jealous hands
stagger home
and cry alone in my room?

I know what you’re thinking
That I am the villain
It’s necessary
You’re not ready to cede
your victimhood
to the understudy
you know this role too well
You dread mirrors
cling to tenuous competence and
empty purpose
I didn’t know your fear looms taller than mine
you walk on flimsy stilts
filling the leeway of my second chances
like sudden floodwaters rush
to mindlessly occupy idle space

I say
I know what you’re thinking
the truth is I have no idea

neither do you.

Still, you fooled me.
My optimism was too green
trust unripened by time
you crushed the papier maché box
under your feet
So much for pedestals.
I understand the attraction of minions
(I am a strong willed first born)
But I wouldn’t comply
with the role assigned
My crime was
I always saw you eye-to-eye
I wouldn’t follow
the script everyone else was reading from
I didn’t know it was a play
and we were onstage
I am neither tyrant nor peon.

It’s my fault
I lingered too long on this play-ground
trusted you with my toys
before knowing you
But I will not cede this corner of the sandbox
This is not your Kingdom
not the barren neighborhood of my childhood
I’ve been spending all my time
trying to make the wrong ki(n)ds like me
I will cradle my precious brokenness
maybe shed a tear
but then I’ll go
where I’m wanted

It was my mistake.
I imagined you The Great Wall
Once I lowered my pushing hands
relaxed my elbows
stepped back
widened my gaze
from the bricks blocking the bridge of my nose
I saw you were no fortress
only a lonely section
broad as my wingspan
high as my crown

The only decision now is
do I bust through
glide around
or fly over
insignificant you?

© S. Rinderle, 2015

2 = = <3

Today
is another distance marker
on my freshest trail of grief
a date
full of 2s
but for me
only 1

I walk vaguely familiar streets
with our ghosts
echoes of warm torsos and laughter
I throw myself on a heap of our memories
piled cold and soiled like city snow
face down
sudden tears on a four month delay

Tell me
where are the men with the power of discernment
who recognize the difference
between working too hard
and not enough
at connection?
Where are the men with the power of intention
with clear, soft gaze
who believe in their own longing
creating their desired destiny
in love?

Tell me
where are the men with the power of wisdom
who understand the heart
as all sacred forces
moves in dark tides
like the moon?
Where are the men with the power of maturity
who are willing and able
to know their soul
and mine
to comparable depth?

They are scarce, you say
a wild species out of season

I say give me just 1

So tell me
where is the man with the power of courage
who comes equipped
with tenacity for the long trek
strength to match mine
and a ready smile
for optimistic adventure?

Where is the man with the power of commitment
who yearns to abandon himself
but never me —
who needs no convincing
that love is its own gilded reward
and I am unequalled
treasure.

Tell me
where is the man with the power of faith
undeterred by the unknown path
who can imagine far enough ahead
to triumph?
Where is the man with the power of adoration
who I need not ask
to proudly display my likeness
compose me a love song
look me in the eyes when he says I love you
and make others wait
because I am his number
1?

Tell me
Where is the man who would be my equal?

Tell me
where that powerful man dwells
and I will call him forth
I will be faithful
for the remainder of my days
gifting the fruits of my hands
the jewels of my heart
the light of my eyes
that our mutual abundance be multiplied
our mutual souls
ever more joyful
and tested

Tell him
I weary of dreaming
I stand ready to embark on the noble journey
that is our birthright

Tell him
I am still waiting
I am the chalice of his quest
Tell him
I will call him
Beloved.

© S. Rinderle, 2/22/15

Sueños Imposibles

I wish
I could see all the people I love
living in one city
at the same party
I wish
I could take the perfect parts
of all my lovers
stitch them together
and live together happily ever after
I wish
I’d had an easier childhood
with happy parents who delighted effortlessly
in my authentic existence
I wish
I’d learned years ago
to love my deepest most obvious flaws
and to savor my glorious talents
I wish
time would pause when I wanted
or fast forward on command
I wish
I knew when you were going to show up
so I could maintain
my patience
Life has granted me abundant wishes
like a powerful genie in a generous mood
all but these
and even so
I find myself contented
inside their impossible bondage

© S. Rinderle, 2012

 

Island

I’ve counted miles by the islands
hours by the days
wasting decades
of wanting
and waiting

I loved you
because you know the names of trees
Let no one mistake your kindness for weakness
You are like bamboo
You nod often and smile only
when you mean it
You kissed my forehead when I was ugly
comforted my nightmares like children
Your eyes are the color of stars

Your words brimmed
with the unstudied mastery
of attention and time
Your hands gifted the kindness of noticing
You move with imperfect grace
through the world
in reasonable expectation

You are not a doormat but a door
When my love knocked, you opened
You were the hinges on a trapdoor
out of my liver
allowing my rage to drain away
reviving my trust

I loved you
because you had a man’s feet
and a woman’s ears
You apologized with your whole torso
Your gratitude came as easy and abundant
as breath
Your fingers went into me asking
not to steal

When you said you missed me
you meant all of you
You spoke in complete sentences
reweaving the hanging threads of our conversations
You always found the North Star

You were the permeable boundaries
around the cell of my soul
the soft padding on the walls of my life
bouncing off my sharp edges
cushioning my corners
Your chest was a shield

I loved you
because you only follow gentle rules
and rebel when convention squeezes too tightly
You worshipped sanity
and called even when you didn’t say you would

You loved me
in public pride
out loud and declared
like that November morning
you asked me to be yours

Since then
this mortal organ in my chest expanded
beyond the confines of my bones
a butterfly who crossed the ocean
finally on land
cavorting through the greens
slowly feasting on nectar

I’ve counted miles by the islands
hours by the days
You were worth the wasted decades
You loved me the best you could
but you were not the shore

You are an island

Sometimes
the best so far
just isn’t good enough
so I return to sea
I return
to waiting.

© S. Rinderle, 2014

This morning

What’s different about this morning
is I feel to the brim
with your giving heart
sturdy legs and abundant mouth
yet empty in your absence
marinating in the salty sweet residue of love
our passion cries gently melting from walls
glowing with blush of dawn.
Though I am sated
my body asks after you

this morning

it’s different
I feel calm
no hamster wheel churning stories
no wheels and cogs clanking possibilities
conjuring
fear mongering
futile spin of elusive control
no crumbling cliff edge
no second shoe drop
nor great question mark
horns blaring red warnings
just serenity
amidst a familiar unknown
unfamiliar safety
in reciprocity
you walk at my side
no longer alone at a new horizon
encircled in the simple warmth
of every limb and finger
expanded ribcages
vibrating synchronous.

I face the dead dictator in my mind
for once, speaking truth
solid, untremulous
in right measure
I have broken no vow
paid all debts in full
you are fully justified
and beautiful.

Your hands are two cornucopias
overflowing with nourishment and lullabies
tenderly feeding
delicately handling me
a wild dove-hawk
now untethered
who instead chooses
to nestle in your sternum.

I wake from that dream into another
your fortress arms and reassuring breath
then wake again
to these sunrise-infused walls
where I rise in solitude
no longer solitary.

What’s different about this morning
is you have become flesh
and I have gifted you mine

What’s different about this morning
is we have finally met
in waking land
and I am
finally

yours.

© S.Rinderle, 2013

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

A Cougar’s Manifesto

First
you should know
that I know what I want
I want to meet my Beloved
and live happily ever after
But in the meantime
today is my birthday
I’m 43
I’m sex-positive
I’ve been celibate for 2 years
and I need help.

I don’t need your money
just your generosity in bed
I don’t need your validation
but your recognition and caring
I don’t need your sperm
just your semen
and I don’t need your pity
‘cuz you should get as much out of this
as me
and there’s nothing pitiful
about my life
just occasional loneliness
chronic horniness
and a longing for male warmth.
You feel me?

Second
there are rules
safety first
no means no
we respect each other’s boundaries – and
the unspoken one – no sleepovers
You see, I’m not interested in
jacking off with your body
but a connection
and I’m super prone
to falling in love
and jealousy
so this rule keeps some distance
as does my declared non-monogamy
even though there’s no one else right now
and the truth is
I only want you to myself.

Third
now that it’s been a month of
“hanging out” and
“chilling”
I need to clarify that
I don’t wanna do all the work
I do that all day and
I need to feel wanted, so
I’d like you to make more dates
with a specific time and place, no
“hit me up when you get back” or
“what are you up to?”
I’m waiting for you like we agreed, fool!
And my return date isn’t a surprise
it’s paid for!
I’m a busy professional, dammit
I’m 43!
I don’t have time to wait around
plus it drives me crazy
I prefer light planning plus
spontaneity

Oh yeah that’s right
I’m supposed to be getting my needs met
by more than one man
and this is supposed to be more
physical than emotional
but the sex isn’t good unless it’s emotional
and I don’t feel so turned on by our
political discussions
I adore your brain
but I don’t need you to have those
so don’t be so shy and hit me up
or sext me
from time to time.

Fourth
don’t call me “dude”
‘cuz dude, I’m not your “bro”
and that’s not sexy
nor am I a “girl”
do I look like a child to you when I’m naked?
I’m a woman, and that might take some getting used to
But you can call me Baby, Sweetheart, or even Susana
until the day
one of us decides
not to honor
this Manifesto.

© S. Rinderle, 2013