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
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.
# # #
The Invisible Tourists by
Kristine Ong Muslim
published August 13, 2008