From Isis to Set (When Osiris Lay Dreaming in His Coffin), aka, Love Don’t Die by Tawni Waters

Scene: Isis loves Osiris.  Twin light-beings, they rule Egypt with grace and dignity. Egypt flourishes, becomes a paradise.  The vile Set, god of chaos, gets jealous, wants Osiris’s crown.  He tricks, traps, and kills Osiris, turning Egypt into hell.  His minions cavort in the once sacred temple, filling it with deception, debauchery, and death. If not for Isis’s love, the story might end there, in apocalyptic tragedy.  But Isis cannot give up on her sacred other half.

For years, she wanders the world looking for him, enduring unparalleled suffering, withstanding Set’s rage.  I imagine Set gloats for a while, thinking death and dismemberment are about as final as things can get, thinking eventually, Isis will get the fuck over it already and move on.  But that beautiful bitch won’t quit.  And she can do shit.  Wilted flowers bloom in her presence.  Snake bites don’t even slow her down. She is walking anti-venom.  Set senses his impending destruction the way old men feel storms coming in their bones.  It’s only a matter of time before Isis’s magic resurrects the dead.

When I dream this part of the story, sometimes Set is an ugly, sharp-toothed woman.  I see her tossing table lamps, screaming about that fucking Isis.  “Why, oh why, won’t she go away?”  Why indeed.  Love, darling.  Love.  Love, the real deal, not the Hallmark card variety, but the Let-There-Be that exploded the universe into being, is the most enduring substance known to the gods.

In the immortal words of Tom Petty, you can stand it up at the gates of hell, but it Won’t. Back. Down.

From Isis to Set (When Osiris Lay Dreaming in His Coffin)

Ugly one,

I will be the sand in your panties
the mare in your nights
the sight that makes
your reptile blood 
run hot.
Ever present,
I will be the thing
that reminds you
the vile ring 
you have placed on his finger
is fool’s gold.

Cowering one,

you and I are not
fashioned from the same stuff
so you do not understand
the way I flinch-less sing
in the face of cannon fire. 
My spine is forged of steel.
I will stand and stand and stand   
until your foul gates crumble,
my love crawls from the rubble,
and his sacred hand slides into mine.

Black hole one,

you suck up the light in his eyes
lapping his blood as he dies
knowing you are nothing without him. 
I am black hole reversed.  
Light erupts from my pores.
I am Vampire backwards.
When my love for him costs me my marrow,
I grow it and give it again.
I donate my organs to him
while I am still living.
You cannot fathom
the love a goddess bears for her twin.
Possession may be nine-tenths of the law,
but the other tenth is me.
Isis.  The black widow.  The lioness.  
I will free my holy husband
or die trying.
(A conundrum for you: 
what is a demon-girl to do 
when the goddess
she wants to kill 
is immortal?)

Petty, pretty-less one,

greed is no match for love. 
Lie and lie and lie.
Make him die and die and die,
but know
that every time
his lights go out
he dreams himself in my bed.

Shrieking one,

I will stop kicking your head
let you slither away with your un-dead daddy
the day you give me back
my husband.  
When all is said and done,
I will be the one
who writes our story.  
You will go down in the 
Book of the Dead
as the jealous joke
that tried to usurp a throne
and found herself
in a single-wide alone
with her entourage of bloated crones
sipping Pabst Blue Ribbon.

(Defeated one,

don’t despair.  
I hear those new trailers
have refrigerated air

and deluxe pressed wood paneling.)

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