“In 1925, archaeologist Howard Carter found two daggers, one iron and one with a blade of gold, within the wrapping of the teenage king…” the iron dagger was forged from the metal of the meteorite Kharga, “found 150 miles (240km) west of Alexandria, at the seaport city of Mersa Matruh” (Alan Yuhas, on Tutankhamun’s “space dagger,” in The Guardian).


In the soundless beginning of the morning, twilight’s highest point,
The court astronomers draped in velvet blue robes
Charted the buckling star
As it fell from the sky, radiating in splinters.
Men were then sent to comb the fields, linen girdles
Brushing the dark grassland, taller than the waist in places
And in others, rough patches of unshorn hair on the clay.
Gathering the iron obelisks, flensing from them the marrow of earth
To expose their divinity.
Unto the boy king’s hand one would arrive,
Unique in its piercing edge, its extension of rule
longer than a palm, Power unto power.
Another would decorate his breast, a golden blade,
Milled to a point, dimly glimmering in the firelight
Under its sheath of dust.
Crossed arms battling the crawl of rust,
Gleaming still, the iron of the sky.


Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan

Sandra Faith Tan is a student reading law at the National University of Singapore. Her poetry has appeared in Quarterly Literary Review, Singapore and Moving Words 2011: A Poetry Anthology.