Semantic notions about life: an exploration of words and signs, and the stories they are trying to tell.

pre·pare

pre·pare

Steel Bridge, Portland, OR, USA

Steel Bridge, Portland, OR, USA

pre·pare /prəˈper/

Verb. To make yourself or someone else ready and able to do or deal with a future event.

There is research that indicates 
the only abnormality 
in a suicide 
bomber’s 
psychological 
profile 
is a lack of fear 
at the time of the attack. 

Perhaps this is the state one ascends to 
when they already see themselves 
as dead.

Motivation behind such acts is tricky 
to document;
to prove 
one common denominator. 

There are so many factors that can create variations on the why.

While it’s true some are recruited as part of a shared ideology, 
many come to this decision on their own accord. 
Driven by desperation. Anger. 
A sense of powerlessness. The intent 
to hurt or kill the individuals they hold responsible 
for all the unfortunate things that have happened 
to them, or in their world. 

Some crave devastation.
Or simply the desire to escape.

It’s rare for one to target those they say they love the most, 
but there are exceptions to every rule.

I am recovered in fragments 
at the scene of the crime. 
Pieces of me 
one could easily mistake 
for dust.

But remember this:
even crumbs that have fallen into crevices 
seemingly impossible to get to
once belonged to something else.

What is never found is a trace of you. 
Not one piece of DNA on any of the recovered 
explosive materials. Not a fingernail. An eyelash. 
Not even a cell of skin.

This absence of evidence will lead to reports. Sightings 
of a man who looks and sounds just like you. 
Refilling the gas tank on a Toyota Landcruiser
at a truck stop in southern Arizona.
Renting traps to catch Dungeness crab in Tomales Bay.
Purchasing a pack of Marlboro reds 
at a bodega on the Lower East Side.

I guess you smoke now.

In the aftermath, there will be other assumptions.
Pity 
for the woman
who never saw it coming.
Loathing 
for the woman 
who must have been in on the plan.
Who got what she deserved.

Such acts often yield more speculation than resolve.

What most won’t understand is this:
an attack works best if you know the target intimately.
That you need to get up close. Observe. Infiltrate.

What most won’t understand is this:
the heart is not an organ that is easy to decimate.
There are four chambers, two atria and two ventricles, 
and the failure of one 
does not guarantee complete annihilation of all.

What most won’t understand is this:
it’s not the heart that transforms 
oxygen-poor blood to oxygen-rich,
but rather the lungs.

This is why when your heart breaks, you cannot breathe.

What most won’t understand is this:
the only time one can ever experience true stillness
is in the second before you are destroyed.

What most won’t understand is this:
there are certain details
no amount of remnants from a blast 
will ever be able to reconstruct.
Like the last image I saw. Not your face, 
but your right hand.
The realization of 
the clutching,
the concealing.
What I hoped might be a padlock.
A piece of rope.
A paperclip. 
Something, anything, 
that could fasten us
together. 

What I’ll never understand is this:
the only thing you were ever holding on to 
was a way to blow us apart.

set·tle

set·tle

com·pas·sion

com·pas·sion