[Photo of pavement taken while moving the camera so that it appears as a gray canvas with varying shades of gray and black lines.]

What kind of system produces
those who behold other people
and see only what can be
imposed, controlled, taken?

Autonomy disregarded.
Humanity undermined.

The beautiful unwieldiness of another
callously reduced to
anatomy, role, function, capital,
the fulfillment of demands
from those hellbent to uphold constructed
binaries, hierarchies, supremacies.

Infuriated by anyone
unwilling to accept oppression.

Outraged by those
willing to call harm what it is.

Doubling down on cognitive-dissonance
to maintain the opposite of co-creation:

Extraction as a way of life.

Telling us to continue
consuming, controlling, hoarding
as much as possible
while wildfires rage,
floods overwhelm,
water runs out,
wars are waged,
cities swelter,
children go hungry,
rights are stripped away.

Killing the planet, the future, each other,
so greed and power always rule.

Expected to carry on
feigning independence,
working to exhaustion,
making appointments,
reading fine print,
paying bills,
acting like there is
no other way
things could be.

But systems can be undermined.

Hearts straining against bone,
grief fueling resistance
to this destruction,
anger preventing our deferral,
connection reminding
we can burn with love as well as rage.

Poetry as
indictment, lament, truth.

Truth as
testament, reckoning, re-creation.

Re-creation as
imagination, restoration, healing.

Healing as
the birth of something new.

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