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.