Middle Kingdom, stones piled on the bones of megafauna, your Heliopolitan panoply of magic: with Ra behind there is nothing to fear. We wear
his amulet, his wedding band. Every sunrise a metamorphosis, a scarab’s shell worn over the skull; a scarab borrowed, a scarab saved. Tucking you in at night,
shushing the susurrus of your sobs as the sun god settles to his sarcophagus shut-eye. As the tarsus, foot that bears the claw, bristles across your cheek.
Middle Kingdom, I come to you in some measure mummified, cerebrum having been drawn through the nose by ritual awls, my body a tuning fork between Atum’s legs. Reach into the aperture
of my hollowed chest, note the stillness of the heart’s absence. Rinse the cage with palm wine, fill with cassia and natron, lock in the earth for 3,000 years.
This weathered body is a husk for my heart, wide and heavy beneath a clay lid, ignored. In the end, to be weighed, priced and put on a shelf by Anubis himself.
Middle Kingdom: sanctified, castrated and relieved of insanity by Seth, I am become bearer of the jet black fleece, become shamanic mouthpiece.
It calms storms in me, the touchless satin of my eunuch’s scar, quiets the voice in the bones - Darwin himself sleep talking in the jewel surf of the Galapagos.
Fallow lay the once-fertile crescent of me, but that does not mean I cannot wield my body like a benevolent weapon, drenched in pearlescent moonlight.
Middle Kingdom, I am pancaked between the Over and Under worlds, tied to a fence and burned at the stake for my cauldron’s bubble, bearded lady’s stubble.
We are the magnifying locus for ancient light forgotten; sharpened teeth of Bast, neon black Obelisk of a man, blood-drunk on wine, puking poetic hieroglyphs.
We are the entire burned libraries Caesarian-sectioned by the brain drain of Rome. And still the womb aches with geologic thunder, phantom menstrual pain.
Middle Kingdom souls were not part of the person, but the person themselves. This means that after death, we escape our false bodies and go on eating, drinking, copulating.
This means our human heads fly out of tombs wearing the dresses of gorgeous birds. Ra, warden of the knowing dawn, with you behind there is nothing to feel,
so I turn and stare into sun. I drape gauze over a valley of queens, can finally be myself: 3rd binary, standing in corners of burial chambers where I learned to walk like a straight boy.