I had a distant youth,
one outside the family.
I had a restless bargaining eye,
an altar to the provider.
I had my father’s dreaminess,
my mother’s soldiers.
I had to cut all the crap
and go straight into the deep end.
I had the mark of the day on me,
condensed to stray events.
I had a desire to be subtle,
but that implies a totality.
I had my eye on his gait,
he left the five and dime.
I had the judges give me a clue,
I encapsulated mystically.
I had a reckless view of the contest,
then an ill-chosen terrain.
I had a fever of computation,
spaces between halting words.
I had a level playing field,
the frenzy of the visible.
I had everything you could want,
roses, a song from the courtyard.
I had a minaret of perceptions
that began to stand in need.
I had a random grace period,
taking instruction from the intermediary.
I had a letter of introduction,
but no knowledge of the watermark.
I had flashes of mundane survival,
exhaling toward the sunlight.
I had one card tucked in,
I could step outside all that.
I had a method of response,
using up the inner self in living.
I had assurances from the victors
to see where the ground lies.
I had a tingle of vocation,
unaware of the subliminal fiat.
I had no money,
and he was such a laugh.