Tyranny (It’s Generational)

Leslie Ferguson


“I see a bunny in the moon,” a child says
“white and fluffy, like the kind
you pull out of a magician’s hat.”

I keep staring at its mooniness.
white, blotchy, textures of light
that I’ll never understand.

there has to be a glimmer
somewhere in all that elusiveness

but I see him for what he is–
ubiquitous dictator
with his big O mockery mouth,
cheeks aflame with colorless
laughter, taunting us with unstoppable, bloodless
rogue face, feral as the tides
and reflections of nothing salvaged,
lying to us all
about his magnitude
a deceptive entity with only a head
and sunken eyes, he looks upon us
with disdain
at the splendid annihilation
we’ve engineered with our machine hands
and our voices smeared with hate and misinformation
hearts blackened by
three billion disparate rages–

desperation rages

so I know not even magic
not even the stealthiest legerdemain
can save us

the despot does not fall,
nor does the curse of ruin upon humanity break,
nor do simple, insurmountable
humor and innocence resist


because it must be quite a cruel trick to reform
minds that only follow patterns
others have made



Leslie Ferguson has just finished her first book-length work, When I Was Her Daughter: A Memoir of Disorder, about one family’s struggle with mental illness, and of which an excerpt has been published in San Diego Writers’ Ink’s A Year in Ink, Volume 9. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Chapman University. In San Diego, California, she teaches English, practices yoga, and lives happily with one husband and two cats.