Some say the point of war
is to make the need for tenderness

more clear. Some say that’s an effect of war, the way
beauty can be: Homer’s Iliad, for example; or—
many centuries later—how the horse’s head,

to protect it in combat, would be fitted
with a shaffron, a strip of steel,
sometimes mixed with copper, all of it

hammer-worked, parts detailed
in gold. I love you, as I’ve

always loved you, one man says,
meaning it, to another. That doesn’t make

love true. This only needs to be troubling
if we want it to be.  Our minds are
as the days are, dark

or bright, says Homer, the words like coral-bells
in a pot made to look like the head of an ancient god—
a sea-god, moss for seaweed across the old

god’s face. To believe in ritual in the name
of hope, there lies disaster.

                                         And turned to him.

And took his hand—the scarred one; I could
feel the scars…Little crowns. Mass

coronation.  For by then all the lilies on the pond had opened.