Your twelve fingers shuffle
limited-edition magic cards.
You are aware that you are
only dreaming, and the cards
will disappear when you wake up.
You inspect the illustrations,
surprised to find out that you
know the story behind them.
The town’s embalmer goes home
to his stuffed family—still grinning
at the dinner table.
An upside-down mountain is neatly cut
to expose the cross-section. Nestled
between the different rock strata are
the body parts of your school mates.
A picture of you plucking rusted pins
from your exposed beating heart.
The water surface of a well draws the moon.
There are hands growing out of the clay wall.
A housewife slices watermelons.
On the glass panel, the reflection reveals
the watermelons to be human heads.
A picture of you waking up on your bed—
the cards sticking out of the gashes on your throat.
Dream Elements from Parcel #21
originally published in Big Pulp Winter 2011: Interrogate My Heart Instead
Kristine Ong Muslim’s work has been accepted by over five hundred publications including Aberrant Dreams, Abyss & Apex, Expanded Horizons, Space & Time, and Tales of the Talisman. She has received several Honorable Mentions in Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror as well as five nominations for the Pushcart Prize and four for the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s Rhysling Award.