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Three Poems
by Tao Lin

That night with the green sky

It was snowing and you were kind of beautiful
We were in the city and every time I looked up
Someone was leaning out a window, staring at me

I could tell you liked me a lot or maybe even loved me
But you kept walking at this strange speed
You kept going in angles and it was confusing me

I think maybe you were thinking that you'd make me disappear
By walking at strange speeds and in a strange, curvy way
But how would that cause me to vanish from the planet Earth?

And that hurts
Why did you want me gone?
That hurts
I don't know
Some things can't be explained, I guess
The sky, for example, was green that night

Poems that look weird

One time I wrote a poem that looked really weird
It looked like a scrabble board would
If I were playing against you and losing by three hundred or something
Because I'd just mix up all the tiles then, and
You'd be angry but you'd laugh and that would be fun

This other time you had The Paris Review anthology
And you were looking for a poem about boats to show me
And I pointed at a poem that looked weird
And I said, I hate it when they do that
And you said, I don't, I think it's pretty

Another time I was thinking about you
And I was thinking that you think that weird poems are pretty
And I think that you are pretty
I was thinking that there was something there, in that thought
Some sort of connection that was completely free of bullshit, finally

A poem I can read, stand back from, understand, and nod at

I've started lying to editors of literary magazines
I tell them I'm in Taiwan or Nicaragua or something
So can I email my submission?
All lies

I don't feel sneaky and good about this
I don't pat myself on the back
And I don't brag to friends
I don't even smile
But I do save paper, ink, money, and time

About the author:
Tao Lin's stories are forthcoming in The Cincinnati Review, The Portland Review, Other Voices Magazine, Opium Print, Kitchen Sink Magazine, and some others. He lives near New York City. Job offers:

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