By Kim T'ae-yong o one in the hallway. No windows, just walls. Windowless but full of light. Dust floated on air. Hazy to the front, hazy to the rear. I moved toward the left wall, moved toward the right. Stopped in the middle, reached out, touched both walls. "Could you tell me the time?" I felt for my watch and checked it. Five minutes fast--as always. In five minutes I would be at the end of the hall, at the stairs. Right on time. Five minutes to wait. There's always someone who's five minutes late. What to do for five minutes? Penetrate the hallway? What if the stairs never ended? What if I pushed those stairs to the beginning, pushed them to the end? Fast backward: a radio clicked on, the doors opened, I was pushed out of the elevator by the person behind me. The two of them in the elevator kept a fixed distance, an arm's length apart, their breathing steady. I thought about the force of being pushed and the force of pushing. Squeezed between those forces, my head would be flattened as I penetrated the hallway. I would no longer have a profile. Would
Azalea: Journal of Korean Literature & Culture – University of Hawai'I Press
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