Vestigial Bones

Rajiv Mohabir

jaunse tu bhagela ii toke nighalayiheje andar rahe tohar jahaaj ke nast kariheThe remnant of hind limbs puppets an originplay that strings baleen to terrestrialancestors. Occasionally whales sport hind legs—as in Vancouver in 1949,a harpooned humpback bore eighteen inchesof femur breaching its body wall. Disconnectedfrom the spine, what is their function but to rendthe book of Genesis into two? Why regardscripture and exegesis as legs and fluke,sure to fall away, and not eat beef or pork? Whydo I need Hindi in Hawaii as a skeletal structure, a myth to hook my leviathan jaw?                                                                What you run from will swallow you,                                                                        what's inside will splinter your boat

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Rajiv Mohabir is the author of The Cowherd’s Son (Tupelo Press, 2017, winner of the 2015 Kundiman Prize) and The Taxidermist’s Cut (Four Way Books, 2016, winner of the Four Way Books Intro to Poetry Prize and finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry in 2017). In 2015 he was the winner of the AWP Intro Journals Award. He received his MFA in Poetry and Translation from Queens College—CUNY and his PhD in English from the University of Hawaii. Currently he is an assistant professor of poetry at Auburn University. Read more about him at

The Kenyon Review

January / February 2019

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