Winner of the 2014 Intro Prize in Poetry by Four Way Books for his manuscript entitled The Taxidermistʻs Cut (Spring 2016), Rajiv Mohabir received fellowships from Voices of Our Nationʻs Artist foundation, Kundiman, and the American Institute of Indian Studies language program. His poetry is published or forthcoming from journals such as The Prairie Schooner, Crab Orchard Review, and Drunken Boat. 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 his PhD student at the University of Hawai`i.
In the garden you keep a buck skull on a pole. It keeps holes from the squash, you say. The slight
beak marks are prognostications. You shuffled a deck and drew the Five of Cups—what remains
goes unnoticed. Once we drove through the snow in January and you found a Yellow-throated Vireo
on the oak porch with a frosted rostrum, but still forecasting the future. Squeezing your palms
together, its blue arteries erupted from beneath rust and canary feathers. I touched the floor with my
whiskey nose that night. You held my arms behind me. You pulled endless scrolls from my ribs—a
ghazal repeating we are never owned. You write your name in your fingerprints along my back and
swear them a holy scrawl.