The bullet train stops briefly to get the freshest meat from the vendors

it carries a returning army and the grown children are hungry

they wave shirts out the windows

the hero is hungover and refuses to be photographed

history knows his face anyway

he’s eighteen his gelled hair is roughed up

and his beard’s a month old

he’s so pretty he could be in a war movie

if I stop now and write not another word

will you get him a cool washcloth

ignore him or be him

remember I need you to finish this

without you I am as lonely as a split melon

covered in flies at a train station

or saturated in lead paint in Renaissance art

what is this poem compared to

one of Caravaggio’s blackened torches

whose embers instigate a war

an exaggeration forgive me I am

but a poor student of art

boarding to visit my dead mother