• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 07
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Portrait of a Young Man as Canopic Jars

These days
it is not the viscera
we store in jars
but the mind,

each memory
carefully excised,
lovingly embalmed,
patiently preserved,

then laid to rest,
one on top
of another,
until the jar is full.

Some are
no more
than a

others a cup,
a honey pot,
a stoppered flask,
with space enough.

But you,
you are a cauldron
overflowing into
saucepans, vases,


Portrait of a Young Man as Canopic Jars

bottles, jugs,
anything to hand,
everything, until
the storeroom is crammed

floor to ceiling
with our adventures,
conversations, quiet moments,

We said our goodbyes,
burned your body,
scattered your ashes,
kept what we needed,

kept what was important,
so that one day
archaeologists, too,
might discover why

you were so special.