Alamgir Hashmi

Alamgir Hashmi is the author of numerous books of poetry and literary criticism, and has taught as a university professor in Europe, America, and Asia. His more recent work appears in Poetry Review, Poet Lore, New Letters, Prairie Schooner, Contemporary Review, Poetry International, Edinburgh Review, Chicago Review, Toronto Review, New Statesman, Connecticut Review, Paris Voices and in many other prestigious journals and anthologies. A Pushcart Prize nominee and a Rockefeller Fellow, he has won high honours and awards for his work, some of which has been translated into European, Asian, and African languages. He is Founding President of The Literature Podium, An Independent Society for Literature and the Arts.

 

What Do You Know?

My colleague, the archaeologist,
has dug out from flat earth
some cracked wood,
likely a piece of a tabletop.
A smear of soup or blood
within the crack and dirt
speaks to a time
she’s carbon dating to bombs
hitting the place right.
No other witnesses,
I believe her.
She smiles and turns to me
with a steady gaze:
Here it is, old Syrian,
the chance to go home.

© 2017, 2019 Alamgir Hashmi

Acknowledgement: this poem was first published in print as a broadside by Whisky Jack Letterpress (Calgary, 2017).