It was the day the house had
changed to accommodate him.
The mirrors imploded
to banish his image forever.
The drapes assumed
the color of his freckled skin.
The light fixtures blinked
at the rate of his disappearing
childhood memories wrought
in gradations of light and dark.
In the living room, the grandfather
clock reduced time into physical
increments, because building
empty houses took time.
The bed linens turned into the same
silk that lined his ancestors' coffins.
The frozen roses of their shriveled
heads lay side by side on the freezer.
Now, every thing in the house
reeked of health and malice.
Even the whitewashed walls
gurgled secretly in their bones.
He heard his throat offer itself
to be opened up so that the god
that had been smothered inside
could peer out, rebuild the house.
In Jack's Time
originally published August 13, 2008
Kristine Ong Muslim has published more than 500 poems and stories in more than 200 publications worldwide. Her work has appeared in Abyss & Apex, Dark Wisdom, Mythic Delirium, Not One of Us, Tales of the Talisman, and Star*line. Her work also has received an Honorable Mention in Year's Best in Fantasy and Horror and twice won Sam's Dot Publishing's James Award for genre poetry.