How to Make Armor

Wear your bones like cold-rolled
steel, skin hammered
in brigandine sheets.
Pound leather and shadow
to a stiff segmentata.

Be corset-pinched.

Clad in devices,
night will rise like a wound,
duty bronzed to paldrons
hulking your shoulders.

When your bad decisions are fused
with chain mail and you're dueling
in the silence of thieves,
go at the world in stone.

Fear is a long-revered tradition.

In the carbon-dark, language
is harnessed in its helm
as "order" from the Latin ordo
means closed circle.

Be plate-sealed,
protected as a priest's halberd
wielding against a cauldron
of medicine.

Or lie naked in the dandelions,
pained with sensation.