Posts Tagged ‘mummy’

To say a person’s name is to keep them alive.
–Ancient Egyptian belief

It is odd how much I want to see the mummy,
though I have seen it before. It is the same
as it was then, dark and stiff and behind glass.
The woman is short, she was rich, they know
because of the care taken in how her entrails
were removed, wrapped in linens, returned
to her body before the whole corpse
was salted and dried for forty days.
Only then did they wrap her for good,
this time with scarabs inside the linens.
Of course the dung beetle would symbolize
rebirth. It epitomizes relentless biology.
I love staring at the shape of her face,
the way her toes point up. I love reading
about how they found her in the wrong coffin—
a coffin made for a common man—they could
tell by the hieroglyphics. Part of me
longs to believe that what is dead is dead.
And part of me wishes I knew her name
so I could say it again and again.

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