dain saint art and activism for an abundant society

hear the single

city don’t sing

platonic

my joy ripped the air from my lungs
in shuddering gasps and leaping laughs
whipping through me like wind in the trees
and only then
i could breathe

my sadness rained down on me
soaking me through to the bone
washing away everything i thought i was
and only then
i was dry

my anger burned me to ash
immolated my sensibility
torching my sense to cinder
and only then
i was reborn

my love held me firm
shook the ground under my feet
tore open every fault line
and only then
could i grow

white flag

part of the book of words

have you ever fought a tide
or a wave
or swam upstream
or have you let the waters
carry you to shore

have you walked aimlessly
through the city
to end up exactly
where you needed to be

have you been touched without agenda
kissed without expectation
let your skin melt past
the thought of mere pleasure
and felt the universe explode
within your bones

have you walked away
from that which hurts
with no road ahead
and no need of one

have you let yourself
simply be

have you?
have i?

the coming storm

red, and blue
yellow, and green
tell me again
how the waters rose

the screen tells a story
a mottled spectrum
bright yellows and greens
as the stormfront rolls in
bright yellows and greens
as the stocks rise

bright reds and blues
fighting in texas
the mottled gray of
an ultrasonic battleground
transparent tears falling
like so much bad weather

did you know, then?
the bright yellows and greens
of the bp logo
flowering with thoughts and prayers
they refuse to answer themselves

did you know, then?
the reds and blues
of cable news tribalism
legitimizing thoughts and prayers
as a method of governance

of course we knew
in the same way
a tapeworm
knows the good times
can't last forever

red, and blue
yellow, and green
tell me again
how the waters rose

rhythm

and in the silence
i heard my heart beating
and it was loud
and i was alive

these droplets are not mine

part of the book of words

i stared at the storm
through this window
for so long

that i truly believed
glass was wet

karesansui

part of the book of words

i built an elaborate sand castle
with rooms to spare
a moat to protect it
each towering spire
a testament to perfection

and yet, no one lived there
and yet, the rain

i dont know why

i don’t know why
the chemicals that knit
to form the fragrance of that
first blushing mango
take me home in an instant

or why i feel more at ease
in the gentle rocking
of a commuter train
than i do in my home

i don’t know why
the line of your jaw
and the smoke in your eyes
make me knit letters into words

or why i would hang my heart
like a lantern before my doorway
to be bruised by the elements
beating louder there than in my chest

i don’t know why
i hate praise, but crave it
fear love, but need it
need touch, but reject it

or why i can shine
incandescent
yet still view myself
a moth

i don’t know why
i like what i like
want who i want
love who i love

i just know i do
and that is enough

rations

part of the book of words

starving, i was given
the most perfect strawberry
ripe, and generous with juice
whose flavour made me cry
just to taste

and yet
i was still hungry

predator

when i said
i want you
i didn’t smile
so much as
bare my teeth

ethnic

i have made
so many friends
because this country
put our foods
in the same aisle