The Guard

King Tut, 5’6”, lies supine on mould-flecked cotton,
                              ceiling-transfixed. Body broken
                as if struck by lightning. Dead at nineteen,
                              before purpose, before the remark.
My avatar. In my last teen year my man

 

tried to kill me with a Volkswagen. Rammed
                               my spine with grille, reversed to gain momentum.
                I leapt from light, body split from spirit —
                              ba left ha. Fractures don’t kill, but heal with an echo
wedged in the chasm. The Valley of the Kings,

 

I imagine, is located in the foreground of a photograph
                               wall mural from Sears, beneath the mountain
                 at its lowest ridge. You can tear the world off
                                by its corner and ball it up in your arms;
that’s all it is. I lied for a decade. The universe

 

got hitched, had quints, divorced, pitched over, while
                              I ruminated in bed about hot knives.
                I described my crypt to a doctor who mimed
                              a gun trigger at his temple: ‘You feel pow pow
sometime?’ No . . . the opposite. To re-enter,

 

reanimate my shell, how the blockbuster CGI
                               storm clouds reset the hero’s backbone
                in-line. Instead, my ex-love became security guard,
                               a bored protector of goods against longing.
Who wouldn’t rather camouflage than change? But grief
                               has an unknown half-life,

 

                               I’ve been resin’d in a vault
                               of magical thinking, believing I can
                               spell-cast superstition into art.
 
 

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Notes