Issue 11, December 2013
{ The Po-Co Kid }
by Rajiv Mohabir
adhinasth logan bol na sakela 
abhivedan nahin murjaake mar gayal*
 
Let's get one thing queer—I'm no Sabu-like sidekick,
I'm the main drag. Ram Ram in a sari; salaam 
 
on the street. I don't speak Hindu, Paki or Indian, 
I don't hold cosmic secrets, have no psychic powers.
 
I clip my haldi nails at night; On Saturday nights 
I shave my head. Forgive me Shani-dev, 
 
Forgive me Shiva. I'm Coolie on Liberty Ave, Desi 
in Jackson Heights—where lights spell Seasons Greetings 
 
to cover Christmas, Diwali and Eid retroactively—
where white folks in the ethnic aisles ask, Will your parents 
 
arrange for your bride? while Ma and I scope out fags 
giggling together while aunties thread our eyebrows.
   
*"The subaltern cannot speak.
Representation has not withered away."

—From the closing lines of
"Can the Subaltern Speak"
by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak

Rajiv Mohabir, a VONA and Kundiman fellow, is the author of the chapbooks na bad-eye me (Pudding House Press, 2010) and na mash me bone (Finishing Line Press, 2011). His poetry is published or forthcoming from journals such as Prairie Schooner, Drunken Boat, Great River Review, PANK, Assacarus, and Lantern Review. Nominated for a Pushcart in 2010, he received his MFA in Poetry and Translation from at Queens College, CUNY where he was Editor in Chief of Ozone Park Journal (2012–2013). He is currently pursuing a PhD in English at the University of Hawaii, Manoa.