I want you to tell me about every person you’ve ever been in love with.Tell me why you loved them,then tell me why they loved you.Tell me about a day in your life you didn’t think you’d live through.Tell me what the word home means to youand tell me in a way that I’ll know your mother’s namejust by the way you describe your bedroomwhen you were eight.See, I want to know the first time you felt the weight of hate,and if that day still trembles beneath your bones.Do you prefer to play in puddles of rainor bounce in the bellies of snow?And if you were to build a snowman,would you rip two branches from a tree to build your snowman armsor would leave your snowman armlessfor the sake of being harmless to the tree?And if you would,would you notice how that tree weeps for youbecause your snowman has no arms to hug youevery time you kiss him on the cheek?Do you kiss your friends on the cheek?Do you sleep beside them when they’re sadeven if it makes your lover mad?Do you think that anger is a sincere emotionor just the timid motion of a fragile heart trying to beat away its pain?See, I wanna know what you think of your first name,and if you often lie awake at night and imagine your mother’s joywhen she spoke it for the very first time.I want you to tell me all the ways you’ve been unkind.Tell me all the ways you’ve been cruel.Tell me, knowing I often picture Gandhi at ten years oldbeating up little boys at school.If you were walking by a chemical plantwhere smokestacks were filling the sky with dark black cloudswould you holler Poison! Poison! Poison! really loudor would you whisperThat cloud looks like a fish,and that cloud looks like a fairy!Do you believe that Mary was really a virgin?Do you believe that Moses really parted the sea?And if you don’t believe in miracles, tell me —how would you explain the miracle of my life to me?See, I wanna know if you believe in any godor if you believe in many godsor better yetwhat gods believe in you.And for all the times that you’ve knelt before the temple of yourself,have the prayers you asked come true?And if they didn’t, did you feel denied?And if you felt denied,denied by who?I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirroron a day you’re feeling good.I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirroron a day you’re feeling bad.I wanna know the first person who taught you your beautycould ever be reflected on a lousy piece of glass.If you ever reach enlightenmentwill you remember how to laugh?Have you ever been a song?Would you think less of meif I told you I’ve lived my entire life a little off-key?And I’m not nearly as smart as my poetryI just plagiarize the thoughts of the people around mewho have learned the wisdom of silence.Do you believe that concrete perpetuates violence?And if you do —I want you to tell me of a meadowwhere my skateboard will soar.See, I wanna know more than what you do for a living.I wanna know how much of your life you spend just giving,and if you love yourself enough to also receive sometimes.I wanna know if you bleed sometimesfrom other people’s wounds,and if you dream sometimesthat this life is just a balloon —that if you wanted to, you could pop,but you never would‘cause you’d never want it to stop.If a tree fell in the forestand you were the only one there to hear —if its fall to the ground didn’t make a sound,would you panic in fear that you didn’t exist,or would you bask in the bliss of your nothingness?And lastly, let me ask you this:If you and I went for a walkand the entire walk, we didn’t talk —do you think eventually, we’d… kiss?No, wait.That’s asking too much —after all,this is only our first date.
Andrea Gibson