The mountainside failed. But when
we saw that deep spot the dead sun
came back heavy as an engine
and my pick rattled like a gun.
The ice unravelled; we peeled it from
his toothy face, glittering brown,
a woody rubber round his mind,
the Bronze Age still stuck to his tongue.
We etched; I touched his empty thumb.
My present echoed like a tomb.
We stood in the twilight alpine wind.
We knelt into the glassy loam
until our slowing fingers numbed,
stroking out his ancient stone
with gentleness like fishes’ fins,
tinkering his resurrection—
trowelling out unfinished bone
four thousand years away from home—
cold laboring late angels asking him,
Who do you say I am?