“Tutankhamun” by Eric Norris

The singing of a sharp and shiny blade—
Slicing through stony soil—accompanies
My labors. I’m approximately eight,
Industriously shoveling and sifting dirt,

Convinced a richly decorated tomb
Lay buried in suburban Buffalo.
The touring Tutankhamun exhibit
Led me to set up camp in my back yard.

I had no funding, or much fun, until
Blind chance supplied my busy sieve with one
Thin dime: the bleakest, blackest treasure yet
Recorded in the annals of science.

Neither created nor destroyed, no joy
I took from subsequent discoveries—
Night crawlers, nails, my first love, and my last—
Compares in value with that curséd coin

Found near Buffalo, in a black hole,
Ringing with the music of my spade.
Although we left most time and space untouched,
The King and I transformed the universe.


Eric Norris’ poems have appeared in The New English Review, Ambit, Softblow, and Assaracus. His latest book, The Dead Poet, will be published this Fall by Infinite Imprints Press. He lives in Portland, Oregon.