[last night] in jackson heights [this morning] with him, not you

Rajiv Mohabir


[that day you had your birth-chart drawn up by p—]


the venusian mound of your palmate palm’s

meat, meatier than mine or

          do you not care you are one whole saturn

return ahead, falling body onto sheet from street

or that indian-hot means jai-kisan heights and


          you will not speak (to me) for two days.



[last night]


it’s hardly an april forecast and you still hold back,

have not invited me inside.

                                        inside that library of the broken

          you keep record of every fallen star(fish)

you skipped on 74th street where a golden record

plays in traffic (before the store).


(shamshad begum to lata mangeshkar: both standing up):            

          what joy is there in drinking tears,

          what you keep inside will stifle you-



[this morning]


spread as a map,

                    in the nastaliq

of his curling black

                    hair, a qawwali


across his punjabi-

                    american chest.



[last night]


          what is there to fear—


midnight samosas with him and the green

chutney burns deep after i lick his lips.



[yesterday during the day]


playback singers play back on the streets in queens, back

          to front in the street named kalpana-chawla-

way after the first astronaut of indian


          descent in space, a fallen (punjabi) star. a suitcase

sized hole in the side, allowed the hot space gasses in. you almost

          held your jupiter-recessed palm


to mine when you spoke. what of the joy of now—

          the problem is i can’t wait for your venus-promise

to chase me shooting-star straight across asia.


          one day, remembering this, we will smile and see—

          haan ji, we will see.



[last night]


he says, mughal-e-azam was the first film

          (he says) hand-painted into technicolor—


the highest grossing until sholay in 1975,

          the homo-erotic classic.


(i say the flames keep their own colors.)


across from famous pizza, in the palika bazaar

          of jackson heights,


you ask me if i consider myself white.

          i imagine dipping a brush into the fallen


stars in my own hands to paint yours in technicolor.


Rajiv Mohabir
Rajiv Mohabir

Rajiv Mohabir is the author of two chapbooks, na bad-eye me (Pudding House Press) and na mash me bone (Finishing Line Press). Published in various journals and anthologies including Saw Palm, Blood Lotus, and Kartika Review, he was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2010. Rajiv is an editor of the Ozone Park Journal, run by the MFA students at Queens College. He recently studied in Jaipur, India. For more information, visit http://rajivmohabir.com.