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March 12, 1998 - Image 27

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-03-12

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10B -- The Michigan Daily Literary Magazine - Thursday, March 12, 1998
Mississii p
By Sarah Flint Ny

Write Poems, Dro in Your Sleep
By Rob Pham

The Michigan Daily Literary Magazir

Sweet whiskey scent
bounces from mouth to mouth
amid raw kisses
at impossible angles clothes slide off
sweat lies heavy
atop vinyl seat covers

passion fueled by alcohol
the romance of a Southern night
black field, dark car
two slick bodies
sliding down together.

- Sarah Flint is an RCjuniorfrom Ann
Arbor She is majoring in creative writ-
ing, and plans to move to California
after graduation and, hopefully, find a
career

r

UNIVERSIY OFMARYLAND

Onion Skin

Five the first time I tried swimming,
I slipped into the pool without a care
whether anyone was there to see me.
Underwater I began to breathe.
No need to inhale I believed.
I thought breathing was exhaling.
A stranger pulled me up by the shorts
for air. I took a deep breath, trying
to inhale as much as I could.
A more terrifying thing now
than then, my nearly drowning comes
to me occasionally in my dreams.
Last night my father delivered
while I was lying in my bed
the message that he was dying.
He told me best his language
could carry that he carried cancer in
his shorts, tugging at his boxers.
I asked him what the prognosis was,

then he told me four monts or four
days or four somethings, I think.
It was the night before last night
that my father died because of
reasons I cannot remember.
I was sobbing in my sheets.
My eyes closed three nights ago,
my father died. It was too late
already when I told him that
I regretted not knowing him,
really.
Tonight I was about to drown
when he said he could save me;
for my soul the ability to swim.
All the things I could stop doing:
Only dreaming of snorkeling,
opening the blinds on long nights
in hopes that strangers were looking,
my fingers tapping habitually, me

thinking: How so rarely do things
come out perfectly. So I was tempted
to accept his offer, but I decided to
just breathe, exhaling, not worrying
about not being able to inhale
sometimes. Only so much air my lungs
could carry, I made sure to breathe
it all out before I ran out.
Drowning, I was not terrified.
I watched the bubbles rise while
I continued sinking, not wondering
if any strangers were looking,
not really caring if it meant
accepting my father dying
everyday in my sleep.
- Rob Pham is an LSA senior from
Houston, Texas. "Write Poems, Drown
in Your Sleep" won a 1997 Summer
Hopwood Award for poetry.

COLLEGE PARK

An Outstanding
Research
University
Nationally-ranked
academic departments...
Phi Beta Kappa University...
Research I Institution...
National Archives II,
the,world's leading library
complex.
Incredible Selection
One of the largest Summer
Sessions in the country,
Maryland features more
than 1,100 courses in
98 disciplines.

Location, Location,
Location
Enjoy our suburban cam-
pus-and still be close to
DC, Baltimore, the bay and
the beach. Get here by
Metro, and take the free UM
Shuttle around campus.

Summer's
Smart, Strategic
and Unique
Get ahead, stay on course,
or catch up in our Summer
Session...stand out from.the
crowd with career-oriented
courses...or experience a
once-in-a-lifetime workshop
or institute...all at Maryland
in the summer!

By Greg
My father's eyes were
slices of onions,
filling the dining room
with their stinging ether.
My father's skin,
like the ladybug wing skin
of a golden onion,
used to wrinkle,
tense - when I pinched it
lightly - my small fingertips
straining to feel
the dark massage
of his bristled pores.
Touching his skin was
years before I noticed
onion eyes, silent
in the dining room.J
It was evening
beneath the earth,
we two only bulbs,
still green wraps of flesh
that could nourish.
Concentrating on his pores,
I must have imagined
pressing myself
inside his strong presence,

Epstein
tightly as between the bone
white layers of a ripened onion.
A thin, sentient membrane, clinging
to his tightly wound walls.
My father loved
to cook for us with onions.
Even when the skin of his
angular cheeks, the moisture of his
statue vigilant eyes
was yellowing
like a day opened onion
left sliced, under cellophane
atop the refrigerator.
When we were just two
at dinner that last year,
the meal flavored of onions,
his eyes like carvings of them,
I might have known better
than to disregard
their faint sweetness
and not touch his skin.
- Greg Epstein is an LSA junior from
New York, N. Y He is a Chinese major
and is the founder and director of the
State Street Poetry Project.

Fun
From aerobics to weight-
lifting, if it's fun, it's here!
Outdoor and indoor pools,
state-of-the-art fitness
centers, lighted tennis
courts, golf, basketball,
racquetball... and much
more.

I

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