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Photographic Portrait: Thanatos

The officer
hair precisely combed
leans forward
over his desk
at the document

His desk
neatly arranged
an open book
a writing pad
several files and papers
a rifle
a metal truncheon
a pistol
two bullets in casings
one upright
one sidelong

The young man
great coat dirty
hair matted
leans over the desk
from the other side
his eyes only inches
above the document
he is signing
he has lost his glasses

Above the young man
stands an unseeing soldier
eyes dead
beneath the front rim
of his helmet

Two other officers
one tight-lipped
one eager
focus intensely
upon the signature
to make sure
all is being done

— Marcus Rediker
Topography of Terror Museum
Berlin, Germany