First Star to the Left

the world beat me up like the imaginative frames of literature
and the elastic words of photographs.

i grow tired as my eyes fall downward
each bag darkens
every microscopic fragment of mascara
collectively telling the world i drowned in carbon dioxide
and hydrogen
and capsaicin.

i thought it was nothing but a mere quarrel between colonies
yet i stand here,
as commander general,
wondered why i signed up for this.
wondering why i brought all these innocent people with me.

i can't turn back,
i have to fight.

if i write a novel about this war,
would that make you feel better?

i look at the mirror and laugh.
i can't run away from my tired eyes -
but at least i can win a participations award.