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Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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MR. FLIP AS A CLOCKTOWER

 
He would have longer hands if the cold had not been so constricting. The ruins can take shape anytime soon. The invisible world is something he has seen at some point in the past. And just like everybody, he looks away from being forgotten, from being denied. Not yet a juggernaut, Mr. Flip tries to outrun his concrete pedestal and has gotten stuck instead. For twelve hours at a time, Mr. Flip tolls. Mr. Flip tolls. His sound so familiar that we remain indifferent.


                                                                                                                                                 -Kristine Ong Muslim

 

EMPEROR TO EMPEROR



 

The emperor examines his videotaped

depositions, notices the occasional tic

in his left eyelid. The camera retaliates

with geometric flaws, takes something

away from his barrel of deathblows.

A weakness, perhaps? Mortality? 

Outside, in full military regalia,

the palace guards stand at attention,

watch in the corners of their eyes

a lady with the short skirt. 

From the window of his quarters,

the emperor flicks the drapes back

to cover the world.

                 -Kristine Ong Muslim

EIDETIC


 

Now he understood why grays must exist;

nothing that lives can be that white.

But would he have loved it if it were alive?

So he watches, remembers things

by their deviation from pure whiteness. 

We are all fireflies inside; we cannot turn on

and off our lights at will. So he prefers the

stories that do not tell us about ourselves,

color-codes in his mind all impossibly

disparate objects in order for them to thrive. 

Darkness is curdled light. Then there's the

body of time which folds upon itself

to become a mouth, devours the finite now.

Always, memory is what's left behind--

that senseless diorama which he cannot unsee.

                                   -Kristine Ong Muslim