Science  Write  Now

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It began with Egyptian mummies—
hook to scramble and pull brain jelly
through nostrils, sacred jars for lungs, liver, 
stomach, intestines, believed useful 
in the afterlife. 

I imagine my belly full of myrrh, cassia, 
sewn with spices. Such care for the dead.
Yde girl found in a Netherlands peat bog, 
two thousand years and her hair 
still reddish-gold.

Touched too young, I abhorred 
even the thought of being touched,
alive or dead, but for science…
desire, not to be dead, but found,
a cause for reverence.

I’m the Netherlands
girl, you tell me, buried
so long until you found me. 

Some thousand years and
an apocalypse later,
an archeologist will brush
radioactive sediment from 
my sternum, clavicle, scapula, 
marvel at our hands still clasped.

The science behind the piece:

Article on mummification on the Smithsonian:

Listen to Bethanie read the poem: