Ode to the retired dictator

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By T.A. Akimoff

To the despots out there, the Jinpings, the Putins and the Lukashenkos

For the betterment of millions, you tread on to stay in your new clothes

And for your own piece of mind in a world where wealth is limitless yet vague.

An invitation to retire, to enjoy the spoils of your regimes, the money, the yachts.

Or do you fear the court of human opinion? In your dreams do you see the Hague?

What if we, the world, left you to your lavish lives, to live a little before your body rots?

What if we, the world, absolved you of the death and misery you inflict on us?

I hear Mariupol is nice this time of year, in spring, when the flowers bloom over graves

you opened in the frozen ground in winter, softening the earth with a bloody fuss

from your artillery and subjugated soldier fed not with food but lies and the blood he thinks he craves.

Oh, but I’m off the track here. What about you and your wealth and power and need

for control, for recognition; your empirical delusions that keep you awake at night in a solitary state of existence without the benefit of the big picture concealed by your Orthodox creed?

Hiding out in your Führerbunker watching shadows on the wall playing reruns of your downfall.

Is it hell you fear? Why? You’re just another in a long line of hellish outbursts come to crawl

through this world extracting death to keep your ego well-fed and plump as you feast on souls

who bear you up on bones and ashes of cultures, now limp flags, perforated with bullet holes.

Take some time away from the doorstep of oblivion and enjoy a sunny day at the beach.

Genocide is tough on the spineless, maybe buy yourself a bright, red car and set out on the road.

Or read a book or two instead of rewriting history and gaslighting the world with every speech.

Maybe take a few classes, re-education is all the rage these days, just take a light load

at the Xinjiang internment camps where you hold a million people against their will

to try to stamp out cultural differences for the good of the Communist party you bill

as socialism with Chinese characteristics. But which China are you referring to?

Because we can’t see over the great wall of misinformation and economic manipulation.

Maybe hang it up and go for a round of golf together and dinner and drinks for two

in the clubhouse in the intoxicating company of other despots without a worry, a care or a nation.

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