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American Guyanese Diwali

American Guyanese Diwali

Rajiv Mohabir


I buy marigolds and paper pictures of the three devas, I light the diyas into prayer, that

every new home is a Diwali. To feel home, the art of where I’m not from, the batiks, the

women playing three instruments, I wish I had that many hands, one would be fully in my

pants the others would be at the chowki and belna, the others would be a mystery in that I

don’t know what books they would thumb through and realize, no this is no mirror.


I have never been vain enough to think everyone here is a guitar or the finger-picking of

“Born in the Land of the Mighty Rorima” was an actual creation story. A loud outer

metronome keeps the boys in line. Even now I keep my Aja’s scissors sharp enough to

keep the rum boys in line.


Every time I strike a match om my om breath om blows it out. Every time I intend on

fulfilling dharma I pick up a flute and play jai jagdish hare, victory to god of the universe

and my navel string aches from a garbage dump or an animal’s belly. I am as

inauspicious as a vulture; a father’s son who is not a son. Every time I strike a match it is

not a sun.

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