"Newfangled Motor Contraption Claims First Victim"
It is a wonder he even fits on the slab,
he is so huge and gangly; and
while most of the debris
from the collision has been removed
in the preliminary cleanup,
there are still pieces of metal
embedded in his neck.
About his body, beneath a lividity
that seems to defy gravity (more gray
than blue, and universally distributed),
a broad scourge of stitches runs from
head to heel, yet are not battlefield silk.
Interestingly as well, his penis seems already
to have suffered partial decomposition,
rot-soft, like an eel left too long
in a summer creel.
His papers, however (if not forged
or stolen), proclaim him to be old Europe;
a baron's son if you can believe it,
but it is still hard to imagine him in a
beer garden somewhere, singing lieder
beneath the shadow of the Alps,
attempting to seduce a local fräulein
or two (although this might explain
the French gout).
How he managed to evade conscription
into the Kaiser's army is probably
a tale in itself; the leverage of his father's
connections or money; or perhaps he was
simply bereft of mind. The burgomeister's
report claims he was stumbling about
the lane out near the graveyard when
he met his ill-fated end, in all likelihood
besotted. Laboring nearby, the sexton
wanted to fetch a priest, but feared
doing so would only further damn
the wretch, his last words profaning
not only God, but his mother,
both of whom, he apparently believed,
had abandoned him.
The driver of the automobil, one Victor
F______, was shaken, but largely unharmed.
While remorseful, he also vowed he would
continue to pursue his new "hobby," no
matter how dangerous or life-threatening
to the rest of mankind; this, in his
opinion, was how progress worked—
despite the roadblocks, one Promethean
spark at a time.