(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.