KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 1: Fall 2014
Tanka Prose: 98 words [R]

The Egyptian Exhibit

by Michael McClintock

Names that rattle
like cedar dice in the mouth,
against the teeth:
Akhenaton, Nefertiti,

Carved in stone three thousand years ago, you are still a child, and the roast duck held an inch from your lips, ready for eating, for all time remains untasted.

I saw your father in the other room, just as you must have seen him, when he stood close, causing your eyes to lift to his and ask no riddles.

Small princess
—naked, breastless—
here you sit.
How many hands caused that duck
to be placed in the small palm?

— From Modern Haibun & Tanka Prose (Issue 1, Summer 2009, p. 127); reprinted by author’s permission

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