From Isis to Osiris on the Day She Gave Him Back His Breath by Tawni Waters

My twin, I rocked with you
in the warm current
of our mother’s sacred sea.
Holding hands
we rode a wave
of her blood
onto Egypt’s rocky soil.

The sun first rose, tore the night, when you opened your eyes to shine into the light of mine.  The world grew in the space between our pressed together palms.

The prophecies said you would die, but I never knew grief
would swallow me whole
when the monster slew my brother before my eyes.  Grinning,
he held up that leg
with your shoe on the end.

My magic bled into madness.

All these years, I have wandered,
my heels torn, my haunted eyes replaying again and again
the sight of your blood draining
staining white sand.

I found your hand hand atop a tree.  Your head in red river mud.  I kissed each one as if you were in them, wore them like jewelry,
ornaments on a death tree.

My brother,
my love,
my light bringer,
my king,

this mad thing
I became was not
When the doves sang
of my insanity
I could not disagree.

Look at me.

Shrouded in black, I add
this last finger to the stack of death that was once you.
I reassemble the puzzle.

Madness, yes.

I believe in madness.
I believe in magic.
I believe in the mess,
the miracle of you.

My brother,
my twin,
my husband,

calling on all the madness
in my sacred soul,
I press my lips
against your
dead ones
remembering your smile.

I cannot leave you cold in this lightless place.

“Mother,” I whisper, “you gave him life once.  Let him live again.  Without him, there is no magic,
only madness
left of me.”

From the corner of my eye
I see your tiny finger move.


My priest,
my brother,
my breath,

I curl into the pocket of your warming body
having lived this dream
a thousand times, knowing
soon you will move
over me
in me
the way you once did.

“Love is stronger than death,”
I whisper.

my brother
my twin
my husband
bone of my bone
breath of my breath

“Love is stronger than death,”
I whisper.

Your eyelids flutter.  I kiss you,
give you


You suck it in.

Osiris, beloved mummy, awake.

Return to me
my twin,
my lover,
soul of my soul,
enemy of Seth.

Arise, mighty king,
and slay the monster.

Love is stronger than death.