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Thursday, December 26, 2013


by Judith Terzi

                    after the obituary for Mikhail Kalashnikov, Los Angeles Times, 12-24-13

He was born hearty without
a heart in 1947, weighed eight
pounds but had few moving parts.
He screamed six hundred bursts
of fire blood that ricocheted
from his banana-shaped clip-crib
through jungles and steppes and
tunnels and flesh and now. He is
the Lego for child soldiers who
crave him, caress him with agile,
wide-eyed fingers. He is their
playmate; they deconstruct him,
then rebuild him for pleasure.
They drag him into sandboxes,
into the silt of rivers and creeks,
through grasses of marshes,
the grime of exile, crime of
hunger. Drug lords fondle him
during drive-bys and executions.
The chouchou of the Hutu,
Saddam, Bin Laden, the Afghan
mujahideen, he became a Russian
icon for creative genius. He is
the most lethal firearm in human
combat. Yet, with so few moving
parts, without a heart, he can be
bought for the cost of a live chicken.

Judith Terzi holds an M.A. in French Literature. Recent poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in a number of journals and anthologies including Forgetting Home: Poems about Alzheimer's (Barefoot Muse Press), Myrrh, Mothwing, Smoke: Erotic Poems (Tupelo Press), The Raintown Review, and Times They Were A-Changing: Women Remember the 60s & 70s (She Writes Press). Her fourth chapbook, Ghazal for a Chambermaid, was just published by Finishing Line.