kristine ong muslim

Whatever Remains


"But she can see," Pat persisted. "She can see the ash, the ruin. How can she not know?"

- from Captive Market by Philip K. Dick



The wooden child is warm to the touch,

flustered by its occasional rivalry

with the other found objects on the shelf.

One looks at them -- the child made of wood

and the objects beside it -- and sees history

upon history, little marked hands that mime

the sign language of sex and death,

of loneliness and the iterations thereof.

A few more years and they would

have all grown eyes enough to hear.






Cold Season


There's nobody out here but us.

We hear with our eyes, listen with

our teeth. You won't let us near

yet we have found a way to slip in,

to wrap our hands around the doorknobs,

to turn them so they won't make a sound.

The door uncloses like a blue coat

flapping its way down a ravine.

We know why you think you are safe.