Autumn Mirror

After summer came and went and some were ill

And some were in love—many traveled—

The world was unsafe or generous

I wept as men do

Choking in my white room

As the spread out

Abstract gas of war

Suffused every inch of me

So that my obedient hands

Become war hands

My neck a battle neck

My tongue dipped

To atrocities

Like a bee ignorant

Of its flower

Unable to distinguish

Where it’s been or what lies ahead

Do you see, it said, my tongue

How the body, even in repose,

Even with this poetry

Is just a war lord’s gavel?