He is a soldier, but he doesn’t want to fight.
He wants to sell his weapons to buy her anklets instead.
He wants to melt his adrenaline for her adornment.

When fierce rage of winter bites his heart,
He desires for her soft bosoms for warmth.
He too wants to be a spectator of her beauty.

When his hands shake in an exchange of gunfire;
He remembers- how politicians laid their hands on her;
And how her beauty ravaged by powerful corporations.

He also remembers how greedy eyes turned her into half-dressed attires,
And now in some beauty contest she parades herself naked.
His blood flow reduces to nothing; and his cold soul torments.

He tacitly agrees to gun fire, and surrenders to death.
He forgets about the deafening sounds of guns.
He does not want to live anymore; he simply wants to die.


“Machina” © TJ Edson


Amitabh Vikram Dwivedi is university faculty and assistant professor of linguistics at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, India; and author of two books on lesser known Indian languages: A Grammar of Hadoti and A Grammar of Bhadarwahi. As a poet, he has published around fifty poems in different anthologies, journals, and magazines worldwide. Until recently, his poem “Mother” has included as a prologue to Motherhood and War: International Perspectives (Palgrave Macmillan Press, 2014).

TJ Edson is the Art Director of Oddball Magazine and a volunteer at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery. He has also had work appear recently in Boston Compass.