“king of the gods” in high school,
caped with scepter in hand, a gentle smile,
the basketball star in our tiny world,
at 21, a lieutenant in Vietnam.
fell on the green villages
perimeters strafed and over-run
all sacked up together like shades of rice
before the boiling pot.
held in place
by those who died before
and after you,
carved on black
marble reflecting back the twisted mouths
holding grief high and tight,
hands offering medals,
to names on a wailing wall.