The World's Oldest Dildo


Long before the Shroud of Turin

or an Antikythera Mechanism

drawn up swamped with sea-rust,


nearly three hundred centuries

before Tutankhamun's death mask,

this polished siltstone relic


found its way into a German cave.

Sure, it's worth a snicker, imagining

Ice Age couples with sex toys,


but still it strikes me as quaint—

hunched shoulders carefully sanding

out every potential snag, a mate


smirking across the campfire,

a hide hung over the cave-mouth.

How to know that the wind outside


would go on howling that way,

so many ages of chariots and gore?

That the stars were just stars,


that no gods hurled the lightning

or left berries under the ice?

Let's give it a test run, one of them said


in a series of Ice Age grunts,

and through no miracle but their own,

they crafted heat to melt the glaciers.

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