Nitokris

by Megan Arkenberg



Some things do not change;
the sound of the desert
at night, the faint faraway
heartbeat of the Nile. Dust
remains dry, honey sweet,
the shadows as thick and heavy
as stone. After a thousand years
the stars still shine as bright,
her voice still echoes as deeply
in the halls of her tomb. Darkness
remains, inescapable
as a drowning man’s instinct 
to gasp, vainly
for one more breath.

These too do not change;
the sound of the names
of the Pharaohs, her brothers, sons
and lovers—she tastes them
like dust and honey on her tongue.
The cries of the dying
linger in her ears, settle
in her belly like a stone. 
And every night
she flees the sound of water
dripping, drowning 
in her dreams.

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