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.