You are a falconer without a glove;
a raptor barebacks your ulna.
Every scar along your wrist
is a lifeline lifting to flight. A father's
hand span around your throat
chrysalises into butterfly wings.
The truth is you’d rather be
ash. You expunge sin, prophesy:
one day a man will kiss you
from palm to elbow. Now,
hide your darkness in lines—
who reads poetry anyway?
When you cut mouths along your forearm
your whole body gasps.
Rajiv Mohabir’s first book The Taxidermist’s Cut (Four Way Books 2016) won the Intro in Poetry Prize judged by Brenda Shaughnessy. His second manuscript The Cowherd’s Son won the 2015 Kunidman Prize. Mohabir has received fellowships from Voices of Our Nation’s Artist foundation, Kundiman, and the American Institute of Indian Studies language program. He received his MFA in Poetry and Translation from Queens College, CUNY, where he was Editor in Chief of the Ozone Park Literary Journal. Currently he is pursuing a PhD in English from the University of Hawai'i, where he teaches poetry and composition.