Ketea Indikos
 by Rajiv Mohabir

     Come night
     we count the animals
     stitched together,
     emerging from Paikō
     Lagoon to graze—
     hybrids of ram, lion,
     and me Aryan,
     Dravidian, Coolie, and
     other things I can’t chart
     nautically in the wild
     limu flares in the dredged
     wetland. A puffer fish bloats
     with macabre gas.
     I’m puzzled by belonging
     and not, by being a shadow,
     a story about sea
     travel, a sleight of eye or
     the light, stitched
     of many parts. Here, I am
     wolf; here, snake. But this
     is not South India and before
     this my hair was curly,
     my eyes fish-round.
     I want to wind
     my coils around trees
     to shake dates
     down to feed you
     my sweet before
     I plunge into a dawn
     sea, glowing pink
     and orange a beautiful
     danger. Quick
     lick my palm before
     any man sees and tries
     to iron me out, to make
     me a single body,
     legible by picking the spines
     out of my head
     one by one until
     I am nothing
     of myself.