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A Poem By Leigh Stein – The Awl

byMarkBibbins?

Editor

HowtoReadtheSecretLanguageofthe?

Pharaohs

Iamafraidthatiftheybuildasarcophagusexactlytoyourmeasurementsand?

then

inviteyoutoaparty,thesarcophaguswillbethereandyouwillclimb?

inside

andfitandthenthey’llshutthelidandthrowyouintotheriverand?

you

willdrownandwhatwillIdothen?

Icouldn’tsleepaloneafterIsawthe?

movie

aboutthechariotsandbloodyostrichhunts,inwhichonemankillshisbrotherandthe?

wife

ofthedeadonehastowanderaroundthedesertuntilshehaspickedupeverypieceofhis?

body

andputthembacktogetherwiththemagictrickssheknows。

Hedoesn’tlive?

but

hedoesgettogototheunderworld,andtherestofthemovieisallaboutherlifeasapriestess

becausewhensheaskedifshecouldgowithhimhesaidno,butIknowthatifIput?

you

backtogetherIwouldfollowyoutotheunderworldevenifyou?

said

youdidn’twantmeto,evenifyousaidtherewerenotenoughseatsinyour?

chariot

orriverboatorrickshawbecausewhentwopeoplespendasmuchtimetogetherina?

small,

enclosedspacesuchaswehaveinthisone,theywillfolloweachothertofuture?

small,

enclosedspaces。

Thisisaprettylongbookinscription,butwhenyouleaveIwant?

you

tokeepthiswithyouatalltimes,incaseyouneedacurse,alament,a?

mirage

orincantation。

Tospeakthenameofthedeadistomakethemliveagain。

Iwillnever?

forget

whenIwasjustyoursisterintheacaciatreeofourchildhoodandatnightthe?

chariots

andthronesandarrowsandbirdsandtwinsinthestarsforetoldourfutureruin。

I’ve?

heard

itsaidthathewholovesyouswallowsstonesforyouwhileyourenemywaitsfor?

you

tobirthasontoavengehisfather’sdeathbycausingatempesttofloodthe?

earth。

LeighSteinistheauthorofthenovelTheFallbackPlan,andanewpoetrycollection,DispatchfromtheFuture,bothfromMelville?

House。

There’sabigol’thingofmorepoemsrighthere,inThePoetrySection’sarchives。

Youmaycontacttheeditoratpoems@theawl。


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