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Kristine Ong Muslim's work has appeared or is forthcoming in more than three hundred publications worldwide, including A River & Sound Review, Beeswax Magazine, Boxcar Poetry Review, Fifth Wednesday, GlassFire Magazine, Grasslimb, Iodine Poetry Journal, Narrative Magazine, New Madrid, Other Poetry, Otoliths, Ottawa Arts Review, Pank, Quay, Riddle Fence, The Pedestal Magazine, and T-Zero. She was nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize and twice for the Rhysling Award.












Kristine Ong Muslim


Armed with an instruction manual,

I demolish a house. The owners have left, have hitchhiked their way to the wasteland.


The floor I compress into a cathedral.

Inside a child's bedroom, the plastic action figures on the second shelf wobble; in the

study, the charcoal sketch of a dream lover sweltersóthe faith I see on the portrait's eyes

is just a stray sliver of light.


Unrolling the house, I discover the dust under the rug. They come in all colorsóthose

miniature chimeras of happinessówith spools of hunger in between.

I scoop the hunger, and I swallow.

I hear the roaring out of the rubble

of the dying house.


Death of a House