A homeless artist is left for dead

under Embarcadero stars.

His pile of paintings remains hidden

beneath soiled quilts and cardboard.

He imagines his life being viewed

at his memorial in a nostalgic montage:

He chuckles when he sees Mother wiping his ass,

even though he was old enough to do it himself.

When he was on a hunger strike,

Mother pounded his back, shouting:

“Eat, Eat, Eat, don’t you know

children in Europe are starving?”

He’s comforted by a scene of Mother

holding his hand until he falls asleep,

and unnerved when he remembers

Father, returning home drunk

from a Christmas party, sobbing,

due to the Jew-hating at 120 Wall Street.

He looks down at his shoe-less feet,

missing his two big toes, frostbitten

at 32 below in wind-blown mountains

above the Chosin Reservoir in 1950.

Lightning stuns him awake.

Ecstatic to still have ten fingers,

he picks up his fiery brushes

and paints a portrait of God:

A good death.