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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,

eternally chasing

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

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