ONE: Poems / by Christian Patterson

you remind me of three different Weezer songs

I want to learn Chinese
Logograms can never pretend
they are not metaphors
I want to watch steam rise
from a large bowl of rice
I want to know
why geography is alive
I want to know why I am writing a paper
on shaman when you already are one

I want to visit Arizona with you,
because you think it’s beautiful
and will be beautiful
Arizona makes you think
of the color pink
Arizona makes me think
of the color orange

I forgot how important meter is
until I heard you speak for the first time
in years, and you inflect your voice
in a way no one else does
I forgot the way you crinkle your nose
when you say some words

I ask how you say ‘I love you’ in Cantonese
I copy how you say it the best that I can
I don’t say it to anyone though, just the air

It takes a third of the time
for you to fly to Hong Kong
than it’ll take for me to get to America
I think someday I will move south,
but not to Arizona
and probably not to Hong Kong

but when I move,
write me the most interesting words
that you have ever seen, then soak
the envelope in rain water
until it’s on the verge of dissolving
and send the letter to me and teach me



Christian M Patterson is 23 years old. He's from Auburn WA and lives in Portland OR. When he isn't writing poetry, he is watching wrestling. Find him on Twitter and Tumblr.