Dictator Killing


Dictator Killing 
(Originally Published in IthacaLit)


In the mind of would you kill a baby

dictator, killing baby Hitler is step one.

Yes, step into my time machine, give your daughter

space to dream by breathing 1890 air


where baby Hitler sleeps in a stone house.

We stand powerfully over his crib

in 1890 Austria-Hungry: the world didn’t know

his future demagogue ascent.


You hold power by standing here

with a pillow perfect for smothering.

I’m leaving the room. Did you rip his ascent

free from history? I trust you. 


Rest your head on this pillow 

as we rush rush back to 1880.

Joseph Stalin crawls in Russian history

by gaining strength on the hardwood floor.


In 1880, you must shoot Joseph through his red heart.

You can still love your teething daughter

on the hardwood floor you polish with pride.

Let’s leave the nineteenth century


so you can love your daughter tomorrow. 

We’ll make good on burning

a baby dictator in the twentieth century.

The Cambodian village of Prek Sbauv


offers promise. We’ll make good on

silencing Pol Pot learning to talk.

In 1926 Prek Sbauv, he’s vulnerable under a mud roof.

Before families march to The Killing Fields,


are you ready to torch Pol Pot to the bone?

I see stepping back in time makes you squirm.

Before we return to our present tense,

I’ll kill the baby and you clean up.

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