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As pharaoh Unas
dreamt of becoming a star,
the star dreamt of becoming him.

“Blue bauble in the dark.
Haughty, indifferent beauty. Mine,
if only for a second.”

Daemons, like gods,
lurk in everything. Timeless,
inescapable as death.

Outside space, outside
time. Dimensionless. Screams
echo through the void.

Graveyard of red stars.
Shimmering mirage in heaven.
Death, most beautiful.

“I am the dark star.
Shredding suns and worlds. Gateway
to an undreamt realm.”

“I am who is not.
Pure Anti-Being. Raging,
transfiguring all.”

Lector priests pour the
libations. Unas jumps through
collapsing light cones.

Stars have songs
older than those of men.
And subtler, by far.

Silent hymns whisper,
glimmering verses repeat
in halos of light.

Celestial timepiece.
Pulsar keeping time. Truer
than man’s artifice.

Brown star, doomed to
potential. An embryo
when the cosmos ends.

Pair of azure stars.
Spinning, bound by gravity.
For a time only.

Carbon star smoldering
in the dark. Hoarding not gold,
but spacetime itself.

plutocrat. Owner of stars.
Poor only in time.

Pure madness,
blubbering through eternity
without end or purpose.

Supernovae burst,
scattering death. Unknown planets
harbor haunted ruins.

Lector priests feed the
king ancient blue stars, until
he becomes one.

Priests of old chant the
forbidden incantations:
gnosis of pharaoh.

Spacetime bent, then shattered.
The vastly improbable, become real.
Deity beckons.

Garnet titan, Mu Cephei,
smasher of worlds, gnasher of moons.
Devoured at last.

The light now enslaved
by dark stars, is reborn in
another universe.

Of us, nothing shall
endure. Not names, not facts, not
even agony.

Drift. Like dust through dark,
nebulae. And you too shall
be reborn, a star.


[Editor's Note: This piece of wholly original poetic fiction was inspired by the 283 pyramid texts—sometimes called "pyramid spells" or "utterances"—inscribed on the inner walls of the tomb of Unas at the Saqqara necropolis. They are the most complete set of religious/funerary texts still extant from Egypt's Fifth Dynasty, about 4500 years ago. If you liked this poem, you may enjoy exploring its historical antecedent at Pyramid Texts Online.]

Darius Jones’s stories have appeared in The No Sleep Podcast, Scarlet Leaf Review, Fiction Vortex, and other places. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia and can usually be found at a local café writing his next piece. Learn more at or on Twitter or Instagram @DariusJonesWrit.
Current Issue
18 Sep 2023

Ama’s arm rested protectively around the girl’s shoulder as the giant bird glided above, its head angling right to left. Violet-black wings soared across a cloudless sky, blocking the sun’s midday rays and swathing sections of the village in deep shadow. Given its size, this argentavis was one of her first, but too far above for her to differentiate by name. Even across the distance, Ama could feel its heartbeat synced to hers, their lives intertwined until death.
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