For years, Tim had been growing
his wives in a jar. A spoonful of sugar
in their growth medium instilled
sophisticated tastes in food and music.
The first wife was a failure, prematurely
born. A mouse accidentally decanted
the jar, and she strayed into the dishwasher,
dragging her injuries behind. The suds
remained bloody for twelve years.
Second wife was a typical blonde.
Her breasts spurned half the men
in the neighborhood. Even the plumber,
the door-to-door salesman, the mailman,
and the newspaper delivery guy.
The milk truck driver was on leave
that time. That was why he had survived.
Tim pried her heart out, found it to be
cankered, abbreviated at the core.
The next wife was a feminist--ranted
on the phallic symbolisms of the TV remote
control, the door knob, the percolator,
Tim's stamp collection.
He had her gassed
with the other strays. Next month,
the fourth one was due out of the jar.


Kristine Ong Muslim's poems and stories have been published or are forthcoming in many places. These include Cordite, The Pedestal Magazine, T-Zero, Thieves Jargon, and The Houston Literary Review. Her publication history can be found here.

Copyright Kristine Ong Muslim 2007