I am from the World I am from misty castle ruins out the window in a border village between the two Germanys, picking up snail shells, avoiding land mines. I am from going to the dike to collect seashells, country fiddlers, fire ants, and don’t mess with Texas, eating cornbread and lima beans with a big family. I am from the National Anthem filling the air at 5 PM, trailer parks, stink bombs, and Louisiana Mardi Gras, waiting for my dad to come home from the war. I am from the roar of train whistles in the Oklahoma night, dancing myself dizzy to the oldies station clad in tie dye, as the wail of tornado sirens serenades the countryside, dreaming up poetry while trespassing in golden wheat fields, powered by the sweet rush of candy cigarettes and root beer. I am from the altered state of California, where dreams rage in the ocean mother’s waves and flowers dance in a kaleidoscope of grace, singing folk songs around a campfire in a midnight haze, meditating and chanting to reach for the divine, and praying with my feet, protesting for better days. I am not where I am from, but where I am going, for I am from the world in all its terror and beauty, consistency and contradiction, ecstasy and ennui, and I’ll be on my way now with a smile on my face, wandering from place to place to beautiful place.