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The setting sun stays unseen, unsung

among city streets; an evening comes with

other signs – drooping eyelids of lit-up shops,

denuded parking lots, yawn of a dirty beggar boy

as he washes the day’s grime at a leaking water pipe.

Unseen…unbroken… the worshipers’ call is heard…

Allah-u-akbarrr; a flock of grey pigeons takes to the air.

Its time for their evening prayer.

And then I see the homeless people

of this city – one limping boy, one filthy girl

running on grey-brown feet, one scrawny dog

and one old man with a too-short stick. Unmindful

of pedestrians, uncaring of all, these maimed creatures

mingle with their flock. Shock! Where were they until now?

Minimized in a dead scene… the dying sun rays set them free.

An orange-turbaned, dark-mustachioed man settles

on an ample parapet of cool, black marble. Lying on

his back, he pulls on a prickly blanket; no self-consciousness!

He belongs here. All the homeless belong to this backdrop

in the distended belly of this hungry city…

…within earshot of Allah.