Memories and places, identities and spaces. Do you
only know ‘here’ for what happened and ‘there’
for those eventful occasions? Are you
creating, as you’re remembering, a you
nonexistent without moments?

And do you change when these moments are torn apart?
Like, what if ‘here’ exploded midsummer
Limbs, organs, and lives, all a scatter
Of losses, so close. You know it was only
30 minutes that gave you cover.

‘Here’ is no longer just the ‘here’ you knew,
where everything met. From travelers
to teenagers to hard workers,
From roads and streets to motorcycles and buildings,
Capitalism and religion, poverty and luxury,

Where strangers walk shoulder-to-shoulder,
rushing locals stopping to say prayers
to the Shrine, whose dancers
are covered in scents of incense and sights of gold.

‘Here’ was sacred and anything but bloody
Anything but risky
Anything but scary.

And it seems odd that you take a while to connect
‘here’ to ‘there’. Even when ‘there’ hits front page
almost everyday, it never seems as relevant
as when the hosts of your memories
are quite literally threatened, eroded,

‘You’ start to forget the moments without violence
The dawns without tragic news, the dusks without sirens
fade away as though they never existed. Defiance
seems pathetic, reckless,

Because ‘we’, after all, will never be satisfied
With anything less than everything. ‘We’
were born to fight these inevitable wars. ‘We’
are nothing more than human nature.

And ‘you’ can only contemplate alone a world where ‘there’
and ‘here’ weren’t manifestations of the ‘you’
that spawned violence

I wrote this as a reflection on the Bangkok bombing that happened this summer. I was moved to do so when I walked past the site last week, and realized I feel the need to rush through one of my favorite parts of walking home.

– Charis



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