I would have chosen

a higher

level of consciousness

had I been informed of my options

at the time of my birth.

Not knowing,

there I lay


beneath the tricky combination of

my mother’s

joys and fears.


in transit

from boot camp to base,

sailed the sea with Elvis,

in the tricky combination of

involuntary service.

I was

six months old

and had waited

my whole life

to meet him;


of world powers,

the fiercest

of which

on high, and

under skin,


sat on wooden pews

in itchy clothes

and learned of God


a tricky combination.

What of

a higher consciousness?

What of a skill so human

as to set

a son, a brother, a father against

it all?

It is that


can read his culture,

remove it from his bosom,

hold it up to the light,

tear it down,

bend it with his mind.

For it is in

the decoding of

tricky combinations

that tyrants are sent packing

and little boys


set free.

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