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March 12, 1998 - Image 25

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-03-12

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12B - The Michigan Daily Literary Magazine - Thursday, March 12, 1998






The Michigan Daily Literary Magazine

Exile in Dundas


By Iris S. Hui

By Diane Cook


but the inmates that kept howling
liberate me from the silver disc!

K'- AJ r~ f Y u t~ FMIAS{...
ree 1 hr. ballroom dance Iescons with Louise Tamres.
Learn a new step every Monday at ' p.m.
Cha-Cha, Mambo, Rhumba, Fox Trot, Jitterbug & more!
Then swing-n-way 'til Midnight.
Mon. night Swank cocktail parties
D P.J. Al Velour spins Bachelor Pad -
tunes from the 50's & 60's
o Dress the era " 30 types of martinis
* Humidor fresh cigars L O U N 6 f
" Happy Hour prices on swank cocktails A T W T B E R 'S
" e ' 1' W '' I'III'' ' '

Dundas Metro Subway
the last train ambushed the air
with a torrenting arrest of buzz
spearing my ear drums
after tsunamis of noises came
the mocking silence
jeering at my solitude in the underworld.
Eaton Center
i tallied my steps
shops after shops
chasing the onset of dawn
wearing my AT&T tee and
my wind-permeable pants
i queried why the warming sun beams
gleamed only on the best fashion on the body of the
best models.
Bay Street
i drowned myself with music
cars' horns mingled with the clashing of footchains
folk dancing inside HMV then tower records
i captured indeed not the songs

Yonge Street
the eye-catching poster of
the phantom of the opera
stood solemnly above the theater
people in tuxedos and high heels
awaiting the phantasmal seduction
aware not of their own stalking in the crowded reception
Dundas Metro Subway
the last train speeded to the platform
splashing sparkles in the carbon dioxided burrow
i stepped in and buried myself
in the abundance of fluorescence
watching the train proceeding at full speed
in and out of utter blackness
all ads on the side walls distorted to mere blur.
- Iris S. Hui is an LSA junior majoring in political
science. She wrote this poem after spending a day
alone in Toronto last summer

I found the panties in the front pock-
et of his Sunday pants. There was noth-
ing mysterious about it, nothing to
question. There was no wondering if I'd
left the lipstick stain on his collar, or
whether I'd scratched his back when I
came. There was no wondering about
those panties. They weren't my size.
Lying in bed, I'm thinking about the
panties, how I'd found them when I was
doing the laundry at midnight while he
and Joey were sleeping. That's when I
usually did the laundry because it was
dark and quiet and I could be alone. I
am alone most of the day, every day, but
there is something more satisfying
about being alone in a house full of
people. It makes me feel like I have
control over my loneliness.
I was cleaning out the pockets of all
the pants just like I always do, because
if there is an old tissue left in one, then
the whole load gets little white tissue
shreds all over it, and then I'd have to
wash the clothes again. So I was taking
each pair of pants and sticking my hand
in each pocket, turning them out and
throwing them into the wash, and then I
stuck my hand into his pants, the ones
he wore to the church he said he'd start-
ed going to again. And when I stuck my
hand into his church pants pocket, my
hand touched something smooth and
silky and cool, the way silk gets when
it's not against skin, and I pulled out my
hand and there they were, these ladies'
panties - lace, pink silk panties. And I
just looked at them for a moment, not
really knowing what to make of them. I
put them up to my nose and breathed in
deeply; they smelled like a woman, and
all I could think to do with them was
wash them because they were dirty.
I filled the bottom of the laundry
room sink with warm water and a cap-
ful of Woolite and carefully washed the
silk panties by hand while the rest of the
laundry was done. I washed them gen-
tly for close to 40 minutes, looking
down into the creamy, cloudy water,
watching the pink silk swirl in the water
while the machine next to me shook,
rumbled and buzzed. I put them into the
dryer, set it to "Delicate" and pressed
the start button. Then I headed for bed.
When I opened the door to our bed-
room, the light from the hallway fell on
Good things still come in
small packages.
(Come in and see what a small store
can provide in choice of selection
and, oh yes, satisfied customers!)



his face and he was sound asleep and
half-snoring like he does every night.
He sleepily smacked his thin, colorless
lips and his fattening chin quivered. For
several minutes, I watched the sheet on
the bed move with his deep breathing,
not thinking of anything except his
breathing, until he moved in his sleep,
and I shut the door. I walked the straight
path to my side of the bed in the dark
like I did every laundry night, and I
pulled down my side of the covers and
climbed under them. And I lay there for
several minutes until my eyes adjusted
and I could make out the light that crept

under and around the edges of the
shades that he had pulled down before
he had gone to bed. The light from pass-
ing cars, one car every few minutes,
washed over the walls and ceiling of the
room, and over the covers and his face
and mine. When the third car passed, he
rolled over in his sleep toward me and
his hand sought my body. He laid it
across my stomach and gripped my
waist and pulled closer to me. His hand
moved to my breast and it stayed limply
there until I fell asleep to the steady
rhythm of how his breathing moved his
arm on top of me.

And now I'm lying here in bed think-
ing of last night and the panties. The
shades are up now, and the sunlight is
pouring across my bed, burning my
eyes. I am listening to him make noise
in the kitchen. I hear the coffee can
bang onto the Formica counter, a hol-
low sound followed by the sound of
water spraying on the metal sink, and
the spoons being rattled in the drawer
and the refrigerator door being opened
for the cream on the bottom shelf on the
inside of the door. I hear him open the
front door and I hear his shoes on the
concrete as he gets the paper that lands


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