confessions of nothingness

in truth was i
eviscerated long before
the priestly incision
that carved my flesh

industrious had i labored
at determined complicity
persistently pleading
for divine justice

my lips never failed
mechanically to mouth
mealy adorations
to ra, to maat, to isis herself

my steps never failed
to guide me armed with offerings
to the polished altar
of my mother’s mastaba

of my neighbors spoke i
never, not once i swear,
an unkind word, nor
denigrated i divinity

my voice dully ordained
have i never raised
in blatant anger nor
caused any man to weep

never did i turn away
from those in need
who knew me only as a man
upon whom they could depend

what remains now
of my desiccated body
rests forever entombed
that i may stand before you

o great god osiris
and confess that never
have i knowingly failed
in any of thy biddings

nonetheless

call forth the beast of hell
to devour my heart
as it sinks on thy scale
for this heaviest of sins—

that i, thy servant
have never known
what it means
to be truly alive

2013.05.28 D.C.Smithsonian 008

An ancient Egyptian mummy in the Smithsonian Museum