The night sun rests in the lap of a bear, dreaming in the northern sky. A half-moon, I shine above the legs. I come forth from the edge of heaven. I climb to the deepest pit of the sky and rest awhile above cooling rocks, above houses in the cities and people who sleep warm nights on the roofs under a half-moon, dreaming. Oh, I am weak and feeble at the sight of my children sleeping. Oh, I am weak with wonder to see my dark wife dreaming, her hair unbraided and perfumed, falling across her eyes and in her red, red mouth and around her firm, brown shoulders. I am weak and feeble, gliding in cloudless dark. Forgetful of the teeth and tongues of snakes, I rest above my homeland dreaming.

Below are my house and cattle. I grow a little stronger. My beams of light are arrows which wound the night and drive it back. I am the eye of a sleeping lion who dreams of stalking the fields with his mate. I am the eye of a resurrected man come home to kiss his wife. I am a half-moon, high in the darkness, a cup of light spilling dreams from the sky. I must move on to the furthest edge of heaven. The wheat in my fields has sprung up in straight rows. I am a half-moon in the night, keeping watch. I must move on.

The Egyptian book of the Dead

Photos by Allen Wolfie Simpson & Hanneliese Bredell