The Thirteenth Stranger

by Kristine Ong Muslim


The stray angel.


He hides his wings under

the darkest of cloaks.

He will not show them

even to his disciples.


He conjures storms, creates

gamma rays from plastic spoons,

magnetic blocks from wood,

and a perpetual motion machine–


a pretty little thing, not even supposed

to exist in four dimensions. He lets us

peer into the heart of that device,

where its cogs intersect the void.


We are building a temple

for the thirteenth stranger.

It will have the tallest church spire

pointing high up in the heavens.



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