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Spadina Literary Review  —  edition 40 page 07


Book of the Dead

by John Tustin

I lie in the dark and I open my eyes,
Seeing a Book of the Dead
Written across the walls of my room,
Scrawled on the bedsheets
And along my mirror in drawings
Of people and animals and things.
The spells, incantations and animals
Of the spirit
Not meant to protect or guide me
On my way to the spirit world
But to hold me still and make certain
I remain here in this room even
After my body has become dust.
Here I will remain,
The memories of my face sitting
Forlornly in that mirror,
More obfuscated daily,
The memories of my body in the indentations
Of the bed, the chair, the pillow,
Looked upon by dog-headed men,
Guarded by women with the beaks
And the feathers of birds,
All with one directive —
Do not allow me to move