Carriages are too outdated today
in modern days they would appear antique
so death decided to opt for something new
something more efficient, top-notch, shiny – cheap,

so instead of humble horses,
or ferrying the river Styx
he went to build a subway
deep, beneath the river bed

but unlike death back in Romance days – Now seems
he’s worn out, a creased, cardboard cup in his hands
jeans too tight and coffee drips run down his chin,
the genteel garb, replaced by greasy dungarees

no ascot tie, or polished shoes to walk in
he sold his high-horses, when depression came
“got a ticket for the ride?” he absently asks,
scrunching his nose, to cough from his cold again

and he’s sure, for the next century or so
he is bound to make the same trip round and round
from the setting sun until the end of time
and stops for those that cannot wait for him; who

stand; and distract themselves with flickering screens
rather than to tit for tat, or chat with him
talking in hashtags, tweets, filters; binary
and still cannot stop, while death is imminent.

Standing right there next to them asking for the
fare in cash, but no one pays with change no more
“Isn’t there an app?” a young man asks, barely
taking his closed eyes from off his shattered screen

His face, pale; a filter sure will do the trick
he’s unaware of where he’s going on this trip
a beggar in the aisle, asking for loose change
everyone is too tied to their 5-inch window

Without lifting a brow, some step out the door
right into a mound that is in the soil of
a platform, under construction, is it not?
Mass graves are better; balancing the figures.

And since then – ‘tis only hours, maybe days, and yet
amounts a million hours of cats on YouTube
the soul is uploaded – the body is transformed
into a few billion bits and pieces

Copyright Kieper 2020

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