TUT by Margo Douaihy
King at nine.
Dead at nineteen.
Pathetic. Am I even a man?
Amulets. Scrolls. Leather boats.
Growing up is the fever dream
that traps the afterlife.
You hum Tut as you lean over me—
your mummy. Am I your canvas now?
Your masterpiece? The tip of your brush
can’t free or redeem me.
The deeper you dig the further you’ll fall.
Charms. Coffin. Sunset trapped on the wall.
They thought I needed spells
to navigate the next,
but for 3000 years all I’ve craved
is a woman’s lightning, her fingers
pressed into my palms, hands
that don’t ghost through.
Alabaster vase. Sigh of Horace.
There was a woman once.
Her name was time,
season of dripping light,
heat, thunderstorm nights.
Her pulse still rattles my linen.
There, feel it? Had I lived
where we could have flown.
Hawk. Ankh. Book of the Dead.
Don’t think you know me
because you’ve touched my bone.
Circle me with your tools and rulers.
Go ahead, pour in. But don’t pity me.
Get off your knees & stop weeping.
Study the way fractures
never heal, holes unsewn.
Yes, I died young,
but I died a hunter,
what can never be caught.
Margot Douaihy is the author of Scranton Lace published by Clemson University Press. She is also the Lambda Literary Award Finalist for Girls Like You, also published by Clemson University Press. Her writing has been featured in PBS NewsHour, Tahoma Literary Review, Colorado Review, Madison Review, and The South Carolina Review. She is the editor of the Northern New England Review. She can be found on Twitter with the username @MargotDouaihy or on her website www.margotdouaihy.com