Jan/Feb 2019 • Vol. XLI No. 1 Poetry |

Kabira

hathailiyan ke mehndi halki hoike gayaab ii sarirwa mein bhala kaa tikaav You will your house of clay and breath a fortress. One day, ash and smoke will play fire games in the courtyard. Remember this hovel is of five senses —  Does wind stay trapped in a room when its windows yawn? Without country it flows as river water, a traceless origin. How can this structure of earth and bone be home? Says Kabir, “However beautiful — gold or silver —  when the cage door cracks what bird stays inside?” The palm’s mehndi lightens then disappears; what permanence is in your body?

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Rajiv Mohabir is the author of three poetry collections, most recently Cutlish (Four Way Books, 2021) and the memoir Antiman (Restless Books, 2021). He lives outside Boston and teaches in the MFA program at Emerson College.

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Vestigial Bones

By Rajiv Mohabir

hathailiyan ke mehndi halki hoike gayaab ii sarirwa mein bhala kaa tikaav You will your house of clay and breath a fortress. One day, ash and smoke will play fire […]

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