Poverty is the cacophony of a street carnival:

caged pigeons for sale
whose freedom my mother purchased
from slaves,

skeletal donkeys in mid air
braying against the pain
of overloaded, wooden carts,

that fat, bearded jackass of an imam
on the loudspeaker, who,
five times a day, loves to hear himself,

             (Do you know how much warm blood the Azaan
             can feast on, that arresting
             glossolalia turned carrion from canary?) 

bright kites of all colors
the only rising architecture
that stitches heaven's cobalt maw,

the dead whale shark that washed
ashore, dozens of Karachi dockworkers
standing upon its unbreathing belly,

and all my senses can focus on
is the scum in the seawater,
my sorrowful grandfather chanting

are all of us


Published in Unlikely Stories.

Monostich to My Lineage

The Higher Language