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15.0k · Sep 2014
I am the air
steven Sep 2014
I am the air—
the creases of your clothes,
but trapped and restless
in your veins.
11.4k · Jul 2014
White Washed
steven Jul 2014
My culture betrayed me at birth,
Abandoned me on the West Coast
And stripped the heritage from my
Rosy red tongue
                                       the Cali sun
Kissing my ****** skin, carefully, softly,
Wrapping me in her white bed sheets
Calling me one of her own.
7.9k · Jul 2014
steven Jul 2014
There is poison:
In the drunken ******
That purr at his heels,
In the boy-turned-badass
Smoking and drinking away innocence,
In the woman who's down to die
For any way up,
In the alpha male too friendly
To reveal the toxin within.
I feel out of place.
5.2k · Aug 2014
steven Aug 2014
Regret washes over in oceans,
Drenching a hot head with
Unholy sorrow and disgust;
Time reigns over as Almighty Queen
Who casts a permanent chill over
The land, the mirrors, the soul.
The molten mistakes cool solid
In the prison of our brains—
Forever materialized, measured, weighted.
A prideful ego never dies—
It's only masked by alibis.
5.0k · Jul 2014
steven Jul 2014
A slow-melting lump in my mouth
So sweet my teeth perspire,
(Coated succulent like sin)
The layer viscous like desire,
The crowns rotting from within.
He's my drug
4.2k · Jul 2014
The Tree
steven Jul 2014
I didn’t speak in fear of saying the wrong things,
Letting my insecurities build layered rings
To protect me from the vagrant eyes of society;
For years I grew up a silent and impervious tree
That feared the men who wouldn’t love me.

But then no, no, then you suddenly came along,
Full of mystery and conversation
In those Watergate lips and eyes like Nixon;
I should never have trusted your boyish conviction
When we met in September and you said ‘Hi Steven”
Like I was the most important person to you,
And how I downloaded a texting app just to
Write “Hi” back to you everyday and how you eventually told me
To change my last name to yours—you made a deep incision
Through every shell of skin I provisioned
For ordinary men like you.

But this is not a love story because
You were just an ordinary man
And I was just an extraordinary fool.
I thought we could drift forever lost
In the desert winds of my dearest dreams—
But love was a mirage and you were an oasis;
I took a sip from the shadowed pool at every cost
And ended up with a mouth full of sand.

This is not a love story because I didn’t know
Two guys could just be friends if they talked to each other like brothers
Because whenever I did, I was called a ***
For trying to pick up where my father left off,
For ignoring me my whole entire life because he cared more about his drug deal
Than his own family.

This is not a love story because you were a guy
And I was too obsessed with being what I wanted other people to see;
I didn’t want to be happy if it meant
Giving up the sweet internal peace that came with being
One hundred percent normal in America’s eyes.

This is not a love story because
It wasn’t written in the Bible.

This is not a love story because we live in a nation
Where having a crush on a guy labels me with damnation,
Where we teach our boys that love is only beautiful if it is in a woman
And that those who see otherwise are sin-ridden;
So many tongues tied to the tips of our teeth
Our nation’s sons and daughters beaten til the love runs red in a river of their tears;
These gender roles wring us out dry and drown us in a shadowed pool of fears.

I can proudly say I was in love with a guy,
But I won’t say it was for the right reasons.
I was blinded by the reality that maybe, just maybe,
Having intimate conversations with a man wouldn’t label me.
And it never will, not now, not ever,
Because I am not an ordinary man—
I am peculiar.
I am not yesterday
Because I am tomorrow night.
I am not a vagrant hiding in a black wood behind the skull
Because I am a redwood, rooted and full
With my outstretched arms soaring high into the sky
Because love is a blind sun that shines over us all,
Making our walls look as small
As the rubble when they fall and fall.
I wrote this poem as a response to "Conversation" by Louis MacNeice when I was competing in slam poetry in high school. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to perform it :-\
3.3k · Jul 2014
steven Jul 2014
Too attached to
The memory of you
And your sunken dimples
That held up the happy curve of your lips
(And held up my world too),

The want in your voice
Coarse with loneliness and anguish,
Though evaporating when ******
Between us two
(My sweet words the answer to your sole prayer),

Your distant stare shielding
A wall of deep thoughts
Scared and shamed and lovingly true
(**** as the ocean blue)—
I love you.
2.8k · Jul 2014
steven Jul 2014
Imperfection will never do—
My eagle eyes understand all of you
And the indigestible fact that you could be
Better, beautiful, sacred, perfect

My skies now rain your flaws, it's true.

But I have to accept my own faults too.
Mental battle
2.6k · Jul 2014
steven Jul 2014
My skin must be made of crystal glass
For you to stare through me so violently
I shake and shatter into a million pieces,
Your missing attention a sound wave
Deafeningly explosive to my ears.
To you, the brittle layers underneath my hide
Are playgrounds for your piercing eyes—
My flesh freezes over and turns clear
By the sheer blizzard of your neglect.

You stare into me like I was an abyss—
A shallow pit, a dark nothing—
And carry on believing it so.
My holes are things to be respected
Yet they are all you ever look through.
Your apathy has my vicious soul
Suspended in a restless air
Until I feel so unreal that I evaporate
And truly, truly, feel despair.
2.0k · Jun 2015
steven Jun 2015
Skin erupts, itches
fingers resist temptations
small fight over guilt
every night wishing
looking into clear mirrors
feeling the reflection
applying lotion for moons
pricey creamy dream
exercising self-loathing
the unphotographed cheek(s)
endless blame
1.9k · Sep 2014
steven Sep 2014
Two rivers flow from my heart:

One famous to the people—
Revered, acknowledged,
Relied upon to renew life
In those strong, able mothers,
Whose water is playful and tame;

The other only known to the
Beasts of the forest—the exiles,
The infidels, the disillusioned
Sinners since birth, and the
Secret prophets who understand
Love and continue to preach it
Across treetops, under skies,
Through minds and closet doors
And kitchen knives and civil[ian] wars.

Bless their souls, those words of peace
Shine brighter than the sun
(Rumored to rise over everyone).
My rivers breathe life within me until
The source depletes, and my heart is still.
1.8k · Jul 2014
steven Jul 2014
My home died 8 years ago and I
Never understood why—
No flames that licked our gingerbread house to the ground;
No earth-shattering wave that swept us off our feet;
No ghosts to keep us company—
Just a deep, lingering silence growing
Louder, and louder, more defined
As the hollow floors whined
In rebellion of the years glazed by.
1.7k · Sep 2014
steven Sep 2014
Perfectionism is deadly when it's believable:
A plant with infinite roots in my brain
As if my entire existence sprouted from that
Seed so evil that my very veins
Pump pride and pretensions through me
Pulsing, rising, filling me to the brim
With false dreams and glimmering hope
That feel hellishly hollow within.
1.6k · May 2015
(pat)riot pt. 1
steven May 2015
At the Berkeley protests,
the streets smiled with
sledge-hammer teeth
chomping away for peace.
Windows were smashed,
trash became the air
     in flags of ash,
police in riot costumes
picketed the peace
     like a fence
teaching the pretty
     protesters a thing or two about place
but the tear gas said it all first:
the system is broken.
1.2k · Jun 2015
smoke & acid
steven Jun 2015
We are two sublime entities
pushing boundaries shifting
shapes drifting through life
stomachs eager for the madness
of digestion smoke & acid
billowing pillowing spillowing
against the organic walls
the defenses so thicc & sticky
we scratch our heads calmly
patiently waiting out the silence
conversations can't understand
so comfy we love our close
nothingness our joint voids
our abysmal futures
1.1k · Aug 2014
steven Aug 2014
Days like these
I feel
In a million
War time
Aching to be
Settling for
Stripped of a
1.1k · Jul 2015
steven Jul 2015
singing in front of strangers
terrifies me to no end, I battle
my runaway heartbeats as they
fly and thud against my glass
chest; I feel the blood flush
hot and livid through my
limbs & search for cool
pillow sides to chill my
cheeks, wondering why the
only sounds I make
whine, how the mind can be
infinitely stronger than the
body how fear can run
through programmed behavior
why telling myself "you wont die"
is never enough to quell my
aching nerves—phobia is the
unswallowable lump in my throat,
the inexplainable fight or flight, the
"no" whispered in every language to
my gullible muscles—one day I will
sever the fear at its root and enjoy
the fruits of my own liberation.
1.1k · Jul 2015
word play
steven Jul 2015
i speak love in
conundrums, map
my innuendo into
casual conversation,
drench my words in
a pool of duality to bait
raw instinct—all in hopes
of catching that double-time
flicker of the eyelid over
dilating pupils: the mark
of a fatal blow, the lightning strike
of confusion, the green light
signal that the games may begin.
1.1k · Dec 2014
steven Dec 2014
I saw Vietnam

Packing my future into
Impossibly small luggage
Rolling down the streets I knew
In the vicious rain.
We added to the crowds
Of strangers going the same way:
We boarded the bus
Knowing time, fighting our
Way into the train, watching
Our watches, feeling cheated,
Chained to home.
This is our stop.
One minute left.
We shot off, bags and all,
Down stairs, to the ticket station.
Mine went through; hers didn't.
No time left.
She asked for help from a white man,
But I couldn't wait for risks.
"I'm gonna try to stop them!"
I said, running to our bus
Luggage and life with me
But not her.
The driver waited for stragglers
And there I came.
I showed him my things slowly,
Trying to delay, okay?
Show a smile, own my breath, yes.
Then she came, panting, and the world was okay.

We boarded the bus,
Found two adjacent seats,
Me inside towards the window.
The heavy movement made us all so sleepy.
Looking out, we were over the Oakland Bridge,
Rain pelting all the San Francisco Bay—
But that's not what I saw.
The calm blue green ocean looked
Familiar, like a memory from birth.
I felt older, the world felt younger.
I saw boats, people, my people before me
Floating on the water's ease.
I felt connected to that world I never knew,
But knew

I saw Vietnam.
On my way from Berkeley back to Los Angeles with a friend, somehow I felt the memory of my parents as they left Vietnam and immigrated to Hong Kong and then to America, where they had me. I just felt a little of the experience; they felt the whole.
981 · Aug 2015
love is wild love is
steven Aug 2015
screaming slashed thoughts
words without direction
fighting invisible forces
neurotic scratching we
exist in two conflicting
dimensions never ending
retaliation blind
diving everything
slowing down, down
before the crash, the
impaling, the release—

973 · Jul 2014
steven Jul 2014
Some nights, my Blankie covers me up tight
And whispers filthy secrets to my bones:
“I’ll love you ‘til the warmth calms down your fright,
I’ll be here guarding you from dark Unknowns.”
He feeds me dreams that fill me up with hope—
So sweet like sin!—they never were to last.
By morning light I wake up, left to cope
With sandy eyes: the salt of good dreams passed.
But some nights—dark and dreary nights—when all
The world and stars are vexed under Selene,
He leaves (my ****** body bare)—His wall
Is never there to truly keep me clean.
He’ll never touch my skin again, for I
Will sleep with clothes that love me ‘til I die.
Half about my favorite blanket, half about my dad.
935 · Jul 2014
steven Jul 2014
Depression arrives suddenly at your door
Dressed in beautiful black linens
And a white shirt underneath,
Asking for your hand in a marriage so absolutely
Lovely you were dying to say yes, his
Words pooling over your broken frame,
Suspending you in his cold but comforting
Oceans that make you hunger for eternal
Sleep and decay until your Soul fades away
Into the shadowed inkling of a dream.
Haven't posted in a while because of writer's block :(
921 · Oct 2015
steven Oct 2015
some nights he wonders
why his fingers are
lonely branches in the
breeze, why no thing nor
person is tight around his
waist, why his college acceptance
rate is a charming 1%.
he knows it is just a
mirror — he walks
closer anyway and
pretends he's in love,
says it won't be like
this, that only he'll love himself
forever, that only glass
separates them; he believed
every word, so he leans
forward and kisses those
cold lips tasting of
breath, musk and never;
the universe was cruel but
this was nice, he thought.
he left his lover without
saying goodbye, knowing
someone would always be
waiting for him.
880 · Jul 2014
steven Jul 2014
If hating the both of you is a sin,
I’m already in hell.
Been living in hell since the day
you came with Kit in your stomach
and me in the backs of your ***** Vietnamese minds.

First, you think gay people are
nasty, *****—wrong.
Second, you saw that Facebook photo of me
at the pride parade and now you think
that I’m gay,
that I’m nasty, *****, wrong.

And third, you showed him that picture
and now he doesn’t even want to call me his son.

I’m not sure of what I am, but I am sure of one thing—
that I don’t want to be your son if it means
living up to your standards, beliefs, misconceptions and predispositions
that are as ugly and low as the Communist oppression
you think you left behind.

                                                               ­      I only live up to America.

Toss my number on the stovetop and burn it—
Burn it like a ******.
Burn it like Chinese incense.
Burn it like your millionth cigarette bud.

**I’ll burn like the Fourth of July.
Originally a monologue I wrote for my Theatre class at Berkeley. Ta da, it's now a poem!
864 · Jul 2015
opposing forces
steven Jul 2015
patience ignites—words
burn through defenses, desperate
scream of resistance emits, breaths
impossible to hold, tongue wild
muscles locked, shouts of
frustration ears bleeding elbows
bent, attempts to solace the
loose-cannon brain, diatribe
retaliation stubborn toes snarling
mouth, suffocating the flame—
moving on, moving on, gaze
toward the horizon, jump forward
lie down and feel the weight of that
heavy heartbeat, never letting the shoulders
sink                                                                  in.
844 · Dec 2014
Time Passes
steven Dec 2014
and it drifts out in sunsets
from throbbing eyeballs
locked on horizons,
thinking staring
following that double-frame
earthquake spasm
cut to black and blacker
behind the skull
841 · Jul 2015
thinking of you
steven Jul 2015
i let the sidewalk catch
my daydreams as I practice
the motions of love, imagining how
long it should take for you
to fall into my arms, confecting my sweet
words into perfection, testing
the way we cannot fight
the current in our oceans,
imagining life that started
with a kiss—smirks becoming
adventures, worries flattening
into horizons, the contrast in our skin
tones creating a balanced ink, our
oneness a calligraphy that
cannot be rewritten.
826 · Jul 2015
steven Jul 2015
low self-esteem means
i don't deserve anything
better, my failures reflect
my person, my value is based
on a number, my i's
don't deserve to be
capitalized, never expecting
a love letter from the world,
worshipping people over
religion, trading my volition
for his capricious affection, the
hope and despair of being
lucky to be loved at all.
825 · Jul 2014
steven Jul 2014
Some heavens ago
I loved you 'til I dropped
On my knees in the bathroom
(Hands chaining my head to the floor,
Body detaining my soaring heart)
And questioned reality,
Wagged my jammed forefinger
At the face of an ungodly god
For permitting my lust for you,
The sin smelling of musty sweat
And fake baking soda
To hide that unsure scent around me—
My primal instincts call your bluff
And I raise myself once more
To hunt for your wild soul,
The game hot and weary
But mortally necessary.
With eyes unsheathed you
Stand aloof—
I'm aiming right at your heart.
He was pretty cute
806 · Aug 2015
steven Aug 2015
i must settle with the
speed of sand as it
cascades onto the
heap, each particle
a memory shard
of late night chats
and broken absolute
promises, earthdrops of
silica falling frictionless without
complaint like the way we drifted apart,
the mound of regret a soft malleable thing able to
be shaken and reversed but never lessened, every
grain a lesson, a small piece of us lost among the mistakes.
781 · May 2015
steven May 2015
your binding gaze makes my blood freeze
from the waist down and crushes my feet
to the point where step is impossible

my toes curl inward—
they die one by one
& merge into a beautiful
dead lotus leaf

I will be sold away
to another man's house and
never set foot again
on soft clouds of dreams

I was bred to please another
feet grown to smother
753 · Aug 2014
steven Aug 2014
It's a lesson for the self-proclaimed
Elite to learn—pride kills
All who use it to fly
And leave the atmosphere
Because the universe is a cold place
(Some might say a cursed place)
Where stars are prone to die
And incinerate you with their light,
With their truth.
Those who survive only live to die,
Drifting endlessly in lonely detachment
For scorning the parental grasp
Of god-given gravity; the Proud
Shall be exiled by their own ego
And hail to the reign of oblivion.
Ozymandias no more
710 · Jul 2014
Galatea No More
steven Jul 2014
You were so beautiful,
Like a marble statue
Behind millions of dollars of security.
But now your insecurity
Has defiled your purity;
The glossy perfection
Turned rotten
At your crystal lips of limestone;
You flawless face, now
Fouled by fatality;
And worst of all:
Your once sweet words
Are now rancid with
Distaste of me,
And it simply destroys
The beauty I see in you,
A beauty greater than
Any Greek statue
Carved eons ago.
You don’t see that your ego
Sped up time’s flow,
Faded your glow.
You’re rubble, my friend,
You’re nothing but old.
My fires of love
Are suddenly cold.
Don't know what I saw in you.
654 · Aug 2015
write wild // we two
steven Aug 2015
some days I write
wild my fingertips
tipsy electromagnetic
light shows in my
kingdom constant
earthquake in my
bones gaps in my
voice but never my
words caverns of
regret where I bury
you hourly trapped
breath & smoky
                 to feel you
underneath my skin
kisses like raindrops
soft linens clean
insides the carpet in
every shade of us we
two nonconformists we
two ends of infinity.
652 · Sep 2014
steven Sep 2014
The mental imbalance I live in
Tears me apart; I despise how
My actions speak volumes louder
Than my heart, than my soul.
I can never feel whole—not
With the dizzying ache of
Memories to regret and never treasure
Buried so deep in the mud
They turn to stone, forever
A lump of solid sin in the
***** of my earthy throat.
I feel the emotions colliding within,
Crashing, flaming, shrapnel arrows
To my pride, my integrity:
Conscienceless, dull.
Any day will death take me
Empty-eyed and still,
War having razed the skull.
644 · Jun 2015
c o z y
steven Jun 2015
Comfort belies madness
in these white walls
clean sheets
warm water streams—
At night, I fall through
a foam mattress
into subconsciousness so
bleak black broken
like home like
past like
639 · Aug 2014
steven Aug 2014
Every second he is missing,
The wheels of my heart whine
With the ache and the longing
For his hand to hold mine.

Gone a man, beaten, and brave
I embodied his wine.
God dug him a grave—
I made it a shrine.
638 · Jul 2015
steven Jul 2015
No one could be red
Quite like her, a crimson-
Caped gal full of rogue
Thoughts like fire storms
That burned for revolution.
If I wasn't so afraid of setting
My dry-leaf life ablaze, we'd
Be more than just two grey
Facebook users playing the
Block game. But from those young
Days and long nights, the vague
Inklings of camaraderie linger. I
Remember her velvet soul, a fine fabric,
Tough and royal but always
Twisted. She kept roses in her
Wild hair but thorns in her
Tongue. Light refracted through
Her ruby body, beaming out every
Color of the human psyche,
But all I remember was the red.
Perhaps I saw the blood in her
Lips, the glow of passion, the
Spark of something I couldn't yet
Understand. Perhaps I was nothing
More than my fears. Perhaps I
Simply mistook her for a mirror.
Dedicated to an old best friend
638 · Jul 2015
steven Jul 2015
Seconds fall fast
fleeing forever I
feel evermore forgetful—
we dance on our delete
buttons hoping all is
well capitalized forever
assuming quality can be
quantified like ***** drug
money, stopping to wonder
why fear is America's Most
Wanted why nothing sounds
infinite why I hide behind
commas why thoughts don't
shoot like bullets how
poems are made when the
words will finally flow
free of doubt, full of fantasy,
fighting the force of friction
I feel the world falling fast
as the mind collapses like
pillow frames a second too
long, a spark too alive—
we live for sightless speed
619 · Jul 2015
steven Jul 2015
we love through computer
screens, typing kisses into
code, our hands becoming
one interface, every pixel an
eye that stares back at us,
observing the electrons that
make us human, particles
glowing in our blood, bits
infinitely shifting, compressing,
creating space for us in the
digital world.
613 · Jul 2014
steven Jul 2014
Every bone inside me breathes fire
(A gentle flame but barely tame),
My aching words singing volumes
Over the rooftops of a restless Berkeley,
My voice resounding like the great Campanile
Who shakes the world every hour,
And today (and everyday) I hold power
In the little poems I etch
Upon notebooks
              Across ears
                            Through hearts
                                         Against fears
Because anything is possible
When passion ignites action
And sets a whole mind into
Vicious conflagration—
The ashes will behold
Divine inspiration.
Cmon Steven, get off your lazy *** and chase the sun!
570 · Jul 2014
steven Jul 2014
Unseen by a careless eye,
The tiny holes
That pierce right through the paper’s skin
Cannot be played with.

These rough and edgy slits
That bind the page
With shiny, silver, spiral shackles
Refuse to give up their grasp.

These tiny holes that dot the page
Are never healed and never felt,
But they remind the paper that
The notebook has a grip on it.

But when the time has come, a child
Slowly rips apart the page:
The perforation pops in pain
And grabs a hold of what it can.
The paper, screaming in agony,
Frees itself at last—
It wanders off to be crumpled,
And hurt, and torn, and trashed,
Only at long last to find
That part of it was left behind.
For anyone who has felt chained down to something. For those who broke free. For those who left a part of themselves behind.
565 · Jul 2015
life is madness I
steven Jul 2015
cannot stop scratching
the bottom of the bucket
my hair irritates my
dreams I stir the bowl
****** and make another
man plunge every night
is cut short by the daily
do I stuff myself with fresh
leftovers the bed dust is rough
with my scaly flesh I cannot die
clean my morals neither
align nor agree the summer nights
sag with restless air I feel my
love for him slipping her texts
disturb my need for peace I
feel the imbalance of straight
acting tomorrow's weather is
foggy I will stop looking for
stars in you.
Hot summer nights, mid-July
565 · Aug 2014
steven Aug 2014
I've mistaken my mind for a jungle,
The wild imagination
Seizing every acre
In lush green forests,
My thoughts flowing fast
In white water jet streams
To cool a red unknown.
The animals who prance
Around make the noise
Of a million mysteries;
I hear every sound
Every vowel pronounced
And fall into a trance—

5:00 p.m., the day almost gone,
Two essays and a final;
My forests cease to dance.
Finals week
561 · Aug 2015
steven Aug 2015
they massacred my
words, little infants,
reduced a family into the
most valuable survivors
to publicize, capitalize
upon, and, once seized,
demolish all tangible
ties to its siblings its
heritage its truth its
web of conversations
556 · Aug 2014
Modern Jihad
steven Aug 2014
Nothing is real;
They scream damnation
Behind computer screens
Expecting attention
Drawing face
To the problem at hand
Flames break loose
In the arena pit where
Witty strikes and fat love
Douse the dodgy daggers of
Misunderstood hatred
While apathetic eyes
Watch the wretched souls
Bleed their fake hearts out
Screaming a battle cry
For the sake of emotion
Because in today's world,
Nothing is real;
They all think they feel
Driven by passion or God
Or self-righteousness
When the motive is really
Vanity at its finest.
No one has all of
Heaven to say
No one is a prophet
No one walks the keyboard
Without a leash
No one can use a beautiful
Thing to mask the ugly
No one makes the void
Any less empty
Because at the end of today's so-called reality,
Nothing is real.
548 · Sep 2015
all I ask
steven Sep 2015
Living isn't enough; every
breath is an appreciation
of the divine that winds our
hearts. Every second is a new
miracle that fits neatly in our
palms: many of us hide them in
pockets. I've discovered the
electric charges hidden in our
fingertips—how a touch can spark
life and transform us into something
more. We're here in this moment
together, our souls written in the
present tense. Kiss me into the
earth, letting me feel the curves of your
rivers. That's all I ask of a name.
542 · Aug 2015
steven Aug 2015
I've been making deals
with my talons as they
graze my tufts of fur—
perfection is poison I don't
want in my blood. The contract
is written for the weak, the
signature line too divine
for my name. I must learn to
walk with feet, not wings. The
sun is already at a lovely low;
surely my wax frame would
spill into the ocean if I were to
ever attempt to kiss it.
Haven't written anything in a long while because of college classes
536 · Jul 2014
steven Jul 2014
Your sweet, silky words
Glaze my desperate lips:
A stream of smooth water
Wetting the roses in my eyes
Into blossoming like spring.
533 · Sep 2015
steven Sep 2015
the way sweat
lingers on my
eyelids makes
me wonder if the
sun loves us all too
much. the world is
a crowd and he is
not a river—just a
hailstone tailed by
blue. twice a week
my eyes watch for
opportunities encrypted
in that spiral pattern; i've
only seen it's crystal
shadow. my light shines;
i love too hard;
the sky begins to drip
while I gaze; we melt; i
wish i could be moon.
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