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.