Burial

by Olivia Hunt

A masked nurse prods a six-
inch swab up,
up my nasal cavity. I try to focus
on her elbow, it’s still—
then moves in measured,
tiny circles, tickling
loosening, I’m sure,
some brain matter. 
Then my mind goes
to the summer rental—
I lie back, watching
the endless scroll of clouds and seabirds,
my six-year-old brother
packs sand into my ankles. 
Are you turning me into a mermaid? 
He lets out a long sigh, No.
It’s a sarcophagus. 
As the sun sets, my throat cracks
like clay. My chest sinks
lower
and lower
into the shore. My nurse wears
the mask of Anubis
now, she draws out her hook—
the last thing I tasted
was salt.

Olivia Hunt is an English and French major at the University of San Diego. This piece was submitted for the Alcalá Review’s Fall 2020 Semester Staff-Produced Original Content. She is the Poetry Editor of the Alcalá Review.