The general’s vision is laser-in-the-night. His narrowed slit-eyed glare is fixed on his object of desire—me–willing it to be controlled, consumed and coalesced, absorbed in him. He is a warm dictator, serrated from childhood abuse, mistaking the lack of the material for need and staunching ancient bloody wounds with food, sex, alcohol, sports, status and wealth; he is boy bully reformed by recognition and contrition. He fears. The cage is constructed from belief, and his wife’s passion-less submission layered with passive aggression ignites his sin, the longing to connect in the only way he understands—the physical surrender that is sublimation of self and subjection to the other at once. I have performed under his lacerating gaze; exacting he is but earthy too. And when we uncouple, he lies back, longing to feel, caressed, his hard skin and muscle beleaguered by the efforts of war, keeping the troops at home and abroad in production, reflecting America’s finest offering, strongest, most capable. But his soft hair, body and head, belie his dual nature. In the brief hiatus from the battle, he laughs, absent from the hierarchy that defines him and shapes his being. Only one wrong choice he made, he avers—and that one has undermined all his achievement, sapped the juju and saddled his joy. All else has been in perfect order.