Night Shift

By Kristine Ong Muslim

It was the day after he had killed himself.

Nobody looked for him when he did not

show up for work. The next day,

everyone had forgotten his name.

The phones kept on ringing in the office;

we answered them, sold things to people

all over the world, people we would never

meet in this lifetime and the next.

All in a day’s work. Here was the pilferer

of oceans, so overworked it chipped its

front tooth against the sand.

There was no distinction between the walls

and the lack thereof. Thirty years and still

we never get used to being alone.


Kristine Ong Muslim’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in more than three hunded 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.

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