He was snatched from death in 1991 completely outfitted
with the implements of everyday existence 5300 years ago
on the border between Austria and Italy...
except for penis and scrotum.
--from a news story
Had the sloe berry and mushroom eater
arisen from his carved stillness
amid an ejaculation of protests
over custody rights in a room too bright to focus,
he may have groped for his lucky charm
to uncast the spell;
he might have known what to barter:
copper ax and rucksack for tissue and pouch.
But curiosity erected a jackhammer’s sadness,
a refrigerator’s hum,
and a table souvenir like a displaced part of desire
found at the edge of a melting glacier—
the leather quiver without an arrow.
“The Iceman Cometh No More” was originally published by Thorntree Press in Troika IV, 1994.