The Man in the Ice

by The Foxtrap Compromise

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Foxtrap at its chilliest.


She lights up a copper lantern
The walls of her cabin dance with gold
Ecstatic, she writes in her journal
“I stumbled tonight on a wonder untold!
I have made a great discovery
Out there in the cold.”

The wind sings a hymn at her window
She cleans off a magnifying lens
And peers at a curious figure
A pillar of ice and a man within
“A man,” she writes, “grown cold and remarkably thin.”

“But he looks to me alive
There is movement in his eyes
Can he see me?
Can he hear me think out loud about him?
Every question goes unanswered.
If I hold him,
Will he feel me through the frost set all around him?
Will his heart beat ever faster?”

She pushes him next to the fire
And pitches a blanket on the floor
She sits with her hope and a handgun
And patiently waits with her eyes to the door
As a man begins to slowly take his shape where ice was before

And she rises like Dido from her seat
He falls prostrate at her feet
He is silent.
Every word he used to know has lost its meaning
In the chasm of time’s passing
But she kneels before him
She makes what looks like the sign of a friend as he gapes at the ceiling
Where the light of her lantern is dancing

She makes him a bed for night and
He stays for a month in the lantern glow
She lights him a cigarette while
He stares at an endless sea of snow
She tries to teach him how to speak
And share what he knows

But the words are dumb in disbelief
They fall dead and frozen at her feet
Everything offered
Burns like a candle at some lost and illiterate altar
Every question goes unanswered.
And so she just holds him
Hoping he feels her through the frost like a dagger of water
But his heart has turned to plaster.


released April 19, 2016
Written by Aidan Selmer




The Foxtrap Compromise Williamsburg, Virginia

We are The Foxtrap Compromise. The smell of sawdust and coffee on a cool autumn morning. The awakening spray of saltwater, standing on cliffs facing the ocean. We write stories and sing them as songs. Songs concerning such things as motion, the end of the world, and lighthouses.

Indulge your ears.
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