The Nile in Flood Season

               America today is a girl-destroying place.  
               Everywhere girls are encouraged to sacrifice 
               their true selves.

               Deep structure is ... the struggle to find 
               a self, the attempt to integrate the past and
               present ... to find a place in the larger culture.

               -- Reviving Ophelia, Dr. Mary Pipher

Opening the Netherworld and going in.
The Sole One shines, and I go forth among
his multitudes; I walk side by side with them,
namely those who are in sunshine;
I have Opened the Netherworld.

                    --- an Egyptian coffin inscription

I.A    1500 B.C.
       Ancient Egypt
       the banks of the Nile, cleansing ceremony

Her-sedjem, blessed woman
wearing lotuses in your sable hair
you have become a hsy,
Immortal and eternally made beautiful.
     Chaotic Apophis, your lover,
abandoned you, leaving his serpent-words
to sting; Heh, knowing the infinity of pain,
took comfort upon you and guided your steel
blade; Anukis embraced you in his turbulent
arms and gently drew your blood away.

Horus will cleanse you in a pool of cold water. 
Anubis will enwrap you in his best embalming. 
Thoth will make clean the fain paths;
Dendwen will make his perfume of what is in you.

Her-sedjem, may your head be raised,
May your brow be made to live,
May you speak for your own body.

               II.A   1992 A.D.
                      United States of America
                      inside a bathroom

                      Co c a  i  ne
                  1.67  gr ams        of
               mix  ed    str ee t   s hit
                no t   Colu m  bi an
                                   riot s
                    in  sym p athetic
                                      nerv ous
               sy ste m.
                          Can 't  hol d
                 s t   il l
                       to w rite
                                     t his
                    tes  t a     m  ent.
                                      Bu t that's
               a   nexcuse
                         for   c ollapsi ng
                  a gain st
                               the whit e
                       cer ami c   ledge
                  o f   th e
                               bat htub;
                                       the  w at er
                    i s    mud dy       
                                -- bur gund  y -- 
                       l ike 
                                  t he Nile       
                   i n 
                        fl oo d 
                                      se a son. 

               II.B   East Lansing, Michigan

               Two teenage girls were found dead in Lake
               Huron yesterday, apparently  from a joint
               suicide  pact.   Amber Marie Thompson was
               captain  of  her junior  high  volleyball
               team, a good student, and  popular  among
               her  peers.    Susannah  Lee   was  often
               delinquent  at  school  and  liked  death
               metal and counter-culture.   Parents  and 
               friends said they had no idea that such a
               tragedy   would   occur.   Journals   and 
               letters found by Amber's parents revealed 
               a hidden side  to their daughter's  life.
               The  successful young girl wrote that she 
               had found a soulmate in Susannah Lee, one
               who could understand  all of her problems
               --  problems which no one else seemed  to
               have.   Letters from Sue encouraged their
               daughter  to  "leave   this   meaningless
               existence" and accused her of wanting  to
               back  out of  the  pact, leaving Sue with 
               an anguished and troubled life.

               At three o'clock  Friday  afternoon,  the
               two girls convinced  a mutual  friend  to
               drive them to a supposed relative's house
               near Lake Huron for the weekend.  Amber's
               parents  and  friends   became  concerned
               after finding  several  notes,  carefully
               typed, explaining  how  she  "hated  this
               life".  Five  hours later,  police  found
               the bodies  of  the  two girls,  tied  by
               ropes to metal weights.   Both girls were
               fourteen years old.

I.B   the banks of the Nile, blessing ceremony

Go down and bathe with Ra in the lotus tanks;
don the clean garment of his refuge.  May you
be encircled by Orion, by Sothis, by
the Morning Star; may they set with you as
you rest in the arms of your mother Nut; may they
save you from the rage of the dead who go
head-downwards, for you are not among them.  You shall
not go down in the butchery of the first of the decade,
those who suffer the lamentations of the West.

     And you will be in the waters, alive for
ever and ever.