Why would my body not tell
me?  That it had found a fort
taken over by the enemy and ruined
with war and waste and was gathering
its foot soldiers its G.I.’s its boys
from the heartland
in underground bunkers?

I knew nothing
blithely while opposing forces multiplied
ten-fold, twenty-fold, fifty-fold
washing their emissaries through my fingertips
and eyes every second while I knew
nothing blithely, or slept.

At least
I could have been sent a dream
in which I was losing feeling in my stomach,
or giving birth to nothing, or bleeding black.
At least I could have been given dreams
in which I was shoveling some visceral detritus
with a square shovel, or
breaking rotten eggs
or watching bruises blossoming below
my navel.

I can only imagine
there was some secret reason
for the secret, as I see my troops
reducing in number, falling back
to a seventeen, sending still no dreams.