We were gods, once.
We were gods rising out of the rich floodplains of the Nile where bloomed the pyramids, the sphinxes, the cities of antiquity. We were pharaohs and queens; we are brutal in our bones, we are radiant in our flesh.
We are the spirits of life and death. We are a green leaf shoot crawling forth from the rubble of bomb-pitted streets and pavement cracked in the desert sun and sand. We are the crumbling tower, the womb issuing forth new life. We are the umbilical cord – feeding and nurturing; twisting as a noose. We are a generation weeping; ancients turning in their tombs. “We will die for our freedom!” We are bleeding lacerations, gunshot wounds, stabbings with knives or screwdrivers. We are whatever is handy.
We are the Universe moving through our veins; slipping through our blood, atoms fallen from stars and moons and suns. We are the Universe which spins and tumbles, turns in on itself, consumes and births itself, burns us into and out of existence.
We are the angels which have fled; we are Azra’il, who stayed.
We are rallying under Sekhmet, calling upon her arrows of fire to align now with our houses. We lay upon this broken flesh antibiotics and bandages, wash clean the skin which has opened under pavement stone projectiles and the glass of Molotov cocktails. We will wrap this flesh which burned with bandage after clean white bandage. We will send our fellows back into the fray.
We are carving from the desert stone the finest coffin for the use of Set. We are gathering up corrugated sheets of metal; we are holding them aloft as shields. We are crumbling stone beneath our feet. We are the billowing smoke above our heads. We are broken mouthpieces, blinded eyes and blown out ears. We are running rampant. We are chaos.
We are preparing now for Shezmu offerings upon the streets: the crimson of spilled wine, the spatter of shed blood. We are riding in on camels, we are galloping through on horseback. We are stiff wooden whips, popping bullets, rusted blades. We are gunshots in the streets. We are the death of peaceful revolution – we are grasping, lynching hands.
We are preparing the table for Anubis, clearing the way for the next body. We are clearing the blood from the workspace with the holy waters of the Nile from which we sprang; we are waiting in the wings. We are bringing forth Canopic jars that he might pour stomach, intestines, lungs and liver into – liquefied by the blunt force of a police van; a fire truck. We are bringing forth the bodies, already defiled, already opened, that he might take their hands.
We are calling on Aken to ready his ferry. We are leaving now this world in our wake. We are building a new one. We are passing through the darkness. We are sleepless nights; bit-by-bit survival. We are roaming the streets. We are wandering travelers.
We hear our mothers weeping for this thing we did inherit.
We are rage, change, bloodied lips and swollen eyes.
We are peace.
We are broken hearted, but we are not beaten.
We were gods, once, rising out of the rich floodplain, and we are not silenced.
[Tahni Nikitins has been a practicing pagan for seven years, though dedicated to no one pantheon or Deity, and has been writing since she could maneuver a writing utensil. She is currently attending a community college with a psychology major and a minor in comparative religions. She regularly volunteers at Sexual Assault Support Services. ]