To the Woman Who Came After Me:

Do not forget your lineage
where you fall in the chronology
I am the one who prepared your way
cleared a path in the tangled thicket
of his heart
filled and smoothed over potholes
in his healing
cleared ragged cobwebs
from his mind
my body was a bridge
between his pain
and your happiness

If you breathe deep
you’ll detect my scent
on everything he touches
it was his broken words to me
he picked up
and handed to you
whatever pleasures you share
we practiced first
we rehearsed
the scripts and lines
he utters now
he called me Love
long before you

Remember your place
He only beat me to the end
I only regret my patience
He is a garment
a not-fit
I do not miss
but first washed, mended, folded
and put away
If I pine it’s only
for loneliness
not for him

I neither want nor need
your pity or sympathy
just your acknowledgement
I had as much to do
with your life today
as he does
that I called you sister
before you called him lover
that I washed
the dirty laundry and
weeded the garden before leaving
that my heart bled
into the sacrificial chalice yours drinks from
that my very flesh
served you
warming your nights
cooling your anxiety
that I
perfumed your entrance.

It was I
You will never be able
to repay your debt to me
so pay it forward to she
who comes
after you.

© S. Rinderle, 4/2016

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Elemental II

My fishlove
you weren’t ready
you were the water
I drank, at first refreshed
for I was the rock
solid and sure
you would cover me
fill my cracks
linger in my dented depressions
make me the centerpiece
of your calming pool
while I grounded and contained
your evasive fluid

Instead, you were runoff
unchanneled
flowing away
gathering debris
pulled by gravity
downhill

So I became alchemy
transformed into water
to match your chaos
slacken your fleeing
with countercurrent
a river round your stoic rockface
to nourish and moisten
your stuck stones
to free movement

Instead you broke apart
when winter threatened

I guess
it’s not the fault of the water
for shattering the rock
when she follows the seasons
and freezes inside
nor the fault of the rock
for his ancient fissures
formed by heat and stress
over time.

© S. Rinderle, 2015

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