Easier

It is easier to believe
you’re not worthy of being defended
than to believe you were worthy
but no one did.
The rage would be uncontrollable.

It is easier to believe
you’re not deserving of love
than to believe you were lovable
but no one could.
The grief would be unbearable.

It is easier to believe
you’re crazy
than to believe you’re one of the few sane
but no one realizes.
The horror would be unthinkable.

It is easier to believe
you’re wrong, a misfit
than to believe the world is wrong
but no one notices.
The fear would be insufferable.

It is easier to believe
you’re too flawed to belong
than to believe you’re valuable when included
but no one remembers to.
The loneliness would be intolerable.

It is easier to believe
you’re too difficult
than to believe you’re easy to understand
but no one is willing to.
The alienation would be unendurable.

Today I prefer to believe
it’s not them
it’s me
Today I prefer to believe
what’s easier
Otherwise how else
could I possibly
endure?

© S. Rinderle, March 2020

Love Cage

When you can’t keep what you love
you grow up twisted
Your heart sprouts at an angle
partially escaped
from the ribcage

Sometimes it leaves your body
and wanders around the world
in the guise of music
a soulmate
a cherished homeland at last
expanding your puny spirit
into a vast, supportive web
of joyful relevance
blissful belonging
suddenly severed
by parental cruelty
irrational denial
the soulmate’s deception, abandonment
the harsh limitations of miles by the kilo
and feeble dollars

Heart slaps rudely back into your chest
like a mildly rotted
rough cut of meat
tether pulled abruptly short
breathing painful
shallow and labored
ribcage cracked

When you can’t keep what you love
you grow up twisted
Love means loss
and you avoid loss
at all costs
but you violate your word again
falling weak again
cursing malevolence
dishonoring what was always yours
love
until you come to mistrust
its musky scent
muscles taut again
in pre-emptive wincing

When you can’t keep what you love
you grow up starving
a brittle skeleton
eternally thirsty
unsatiated
a steady stream of nourishing liquid
falling straight through
your parched jawbone and dehydrated pelvis
to the cracked earth beneath
your bleached metatarsals

Until one day
wisdom
and green, persistent breath
allow your dry bones
to moisten and stick
grow flesh, give form
to tissues
relaxing
gently guiding the heart back into place
steady rhythm
unmangled and strong
fierce protected
ribs closing like tender petals at night
just in time

‘cause when you can’t keep what you love
you grow up
twisting others.

© S. Rinderle, 2013
Published in Catching Calliope, Spring 2014.