Hurt people, there is no forever.
Hurt people, always remember.
— Fuad Ahmed

Buriganga River washes the feet of your sons,
Meghna River bathes ankles of your daughters.

Do you hear your 17 million people calling?
Do you recall various uprisings’ slaughters?

Does Dhanmondi listen to Karail’s wails?
Does Gulshan consider Karail appalling?

In your steaming tropical heat, men escape
to the lesser swelter of gardens off the street

where Asian palmyra palms drape fronds
for shade where wet, sweating bodies meet

to play, the hottest part of the day made for
joining in adda talks, slow walks and songs,

sitting beside night jasmine while drinking tea,
leaning into their fiery white-flower throngs

that leave pollen grains on cheeks and hair
until friends reach up to touch, brush them free.

In an adda, they would solve world problems,
understand the music of the spheres, foment

revolution and poetry, have love evolve to be
more than a human gratification of a moment.

In your night’s dark heat, in your hot noons,
daughters and mothers care, clean and cook

for families and friends, absently sing tunes
that were ancient a millennia ago, then look

to see their children are fed, are taught, kept
secure from adulthood’s ubiquitous dread.

When will you be ready to save Planet Earth?
Replace New York, Paris, London, Beijing

as the civilized center of everything?  When
will your passion become the important thing?

Old as you are, you brim with beautiful men
and women, young perspectives on old ideas,

softer views on stone-hard doctrines of faith,
belief that loving touching overcomes fears,

and both West and East await your erotic rise
that will put flesh again in Eden, dry up tears

shed because of this god or that, open a gate of
physical jubilation, close intolerance and hate

to allow your tropic incubation of humanity
to spread around all the globe and set us free.

When are you coming, City of Mosques?  For
early or late, high or low, young or old, pity

those of us who are a hurting people wanting
ghosts to go, haunting to end, aching to cease.

When are you coming, City of Mosques? We
yearn for your delta where love flows into peace.


Photo via Good Free Photos

Rob Jacques

Rob Jacques resides on a rural island in Washington State’s Puget Sound. His poetry appears in literary journals, including Atlanta Review, Prairie Schooner, Amsterdam Quarterly, Poet Lore, The Healing Muse, and American Literary Review. Two collections of his poems have been published: War Poet (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2017) and Adagio for Su Tung-p’o (Fernwood Press, 2019).