Lindow Man (d. 100 AD)
by William J. Scheick

The flickering fire
in the barbered beard
and manicured nails
inspirits the dead skin
of the Celtic priest
swallowing scorched oatmeal.

How many had he enlightened
about ghostly will-o'-the-wisps
deep in the dark mosses
of mother earth's septic wound?

Here he now lies
naked as a new-born,
May's submerged forfeit
thrice bludgeoned,
festively strangled,
slit across the throat
for good measure
like cracked autumn grains
or club-spiked caterpillars
leisurely digested
in the murky domain
of tearing sundews.

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