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By Rajiv Mohabir

I invite you back
                     dear wildness        dear

                                                           unfathomable formless
                                 universe of expansion

you alaap and scat
                                  of tongue and throat

come seed me

                            my ground I’ve prepared
                                                 ready for divinity

make day of my night
revolution in my field

come burn

                      fallow grass

                                         and mustard alike

and I will string your each flame

                                                                  about my neck

until you flare into me

                             and I like you burn

                                                                  beyond recognition




Listen as Rajiv Mohabir reads "Prayer"

Added: Sunday, December 4, 2022  /  Poem used with permission.
Rajiv Mohabir
Photo by Bryan Kamaoli Kuwada.

Rajiv Mohabir is the author of three collections of poetry including Cutlish (Four Way Books 2021) which was awarded the Eric Hoffer Medal Provocateur, longlisted for the 2022 PEN/Voelcker Prize, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He also authored the memoir Antiman (Restless Books 2021) winner of the Forward Indies Award for LGBTQ+ Nonfiction, and was a finalist for the 2022 PEN/America Open Book Award, 2021 Randy Shilts Award for Gay Nonfiction, and 2021 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Memoir/Biography. As a translator, his version of I Even Regret Night: Holi Songs of Demerara (Kaya 2019) won the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award from the Academy of American Poets in 2020. He teaches in the MFA program at Emerson College and lives in the Boston area.

Image Description: Rajiv Mohabir sits in a green shirt, jeans, and glasses with his hands clasped on pōhaku lava rock with the Moananuiākea and Makapu'u islands behind him.

Other poems by this author