this emotion was a little e-book
by Tao Lin


terrible asshole

my mom taught me… something
is that the end of this poem?

it is not

my mom taught me a lot of things

i played the piano and tried to move my body while doing it
to show that i had emotions

i also showed my mom my middle finger
while going to the computer room

‘don’t do that,’ she said

later in life i walked into a terrible playground
other people were horrified, from a distance

i walked through the fire and came out the other side

it hurt
i thought i should scream

but i was polite and kept walking, into another fire
all my life i was mostly very polite, and nice, pretty much,
why change now?
i moved into a blue field, an amazing blue field—magical,
calm, anesthetic; beautiful—then into a third fire

hamsters, i noticed, were enjoying the mayhem
i’d never seen them like that
i was amused

my eyeballs were melting down my face, though,
and that made me feel strange