Apr/May 2010 Poetry

Two Poems

by Kristine Ong Muslim

Still Hiding

Sometimes, we know what you are. We see what you see as you lurk along those hallways lined with mirrors. Most days, you shuffle your feet in an effort to remain still, to cast your own shadow. You confuse radio static for music. As if the white noise is enough to remind you that there is a way to make a favorite song last.

Outside, the tiny dollmen pound their knuckle bones against the porch door.

It is going to rain someday.

Outside, the tiny dollmen agree that there is nothing in this house that's worth saving, nothing that's worth the long wait, yet they want to get inside anyway.

You raise the bar on the door, leave the light on, and close the door behind you. Slowly, you huddle with the watchful and the trapped.

This is only the beginning of the off-season.



The jet setting Mrs. Seaton reclines her seat and how they shuffle inside her purse—her contraband of shrunken heads and polished finger bones the tribesman cautioned her to keep airtight during the night. In the overhead bin, her scrapbook of missing children slides against her portfolio of accidental deaths. Inside the bubble-wrapped sachet (how it gives away a part of itself when it bursts), the Polaroid's of the ones who cast no shadows are flattened like the dusty darkness under a carpet rug. Mrs. Seaton stows away the Polaroid snapshots, smiles as soon as the flight attendant hands her a glass of water, swirls the water like before, then waits until the lips and teeth on the water's surface inevitably disappear.


Previous Piece Next Piece