Baghdad.
ides of may, 2003.

i had a rare chance to see over a million people living together with no government in place. it wasnt pretty.


the human heart likes to hide herself and comes out only when the world is tender. it is a cloud that rains black blood but dares not breach the horizon; a star thatís afraid of the dark; itís a shepherd with a knife, a liar with a bible, a confused contradiction, and itís you and itís me.

i have seen the elusive human heart on, maybe, two or three lucky occasions, but only when the world was tenderized, exhausted, and warm.

first, i saw the human heart with lovers of mine, where we lived on the tropical island named romance, near the river kindness, under the sun of love. here we wove our selves into our bodies and remained like that, breathing, and gentle, hanging in the leaves, for years, having just finished a long, healthy romp and we were exhausted and resting wet inside of each in a private wind of lifetime. and we smiled. then, in love, i saw the human heart crawl, crablike, out of her hole in the sand, because the world was warm and soft and, as i have said, tender.

second, i saw the human heart with soldiers of mine, where we died on the cliffs of ruin, and fell with the rain of hate onto the rocks of war, so very far below. there we wrecked each other and each side in the war pressed until the world shattered into sharp pieces of poison and no one could see anything, anymore, without bleeding from the act itself. but we all tried anyway. then, in war, i saw the human heart crawl out, like a white larvae from a pile of shit, because the world was soft, and heat was dissipating, and no one was looking. the human heart needs one of these two similar environments to come out of its shell; war or love.

all is fair in love and war is not a statement about love, war, or justice. it is a simple statement about the human heart. if all is fair at the extremes of our existence, then nothing is unfair in between. and this is the nature of the human heart; unfair. it is lovely and bloody and, at the bottom of the aorta, unfair.

or, again, maybe in solitude we can commit no crime. and love and war are simply our most social forms of existence, where injustice is most likely to live.

perhaps itís a fatigue - a grouped together kind of bodily fatigue - that the human heart needs to feel safe enough to show itself. or safe enough to make someone else feel.

this is reason enough to visit a warzone; to see, as with love, the limits of humanity. in this way love and war are like a sister and a brother, but orphans; they exist without the rule of their parents, going where they will, with retribution out of site and the world wide-eyed, open, and in armís reach.

when i have seen the human heart, it has been hard a work, oscillating between greed and peace, lying and praying, and doing so without ever missing a beat. it is a kind of crystal, reflecting the world outside, and containing another, separate and uniquely twisted world, inside.