“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 you
and tell me in a way that I’ll know your mothers name
just by the way you describe your bed room when you were eight.
See, I wanna 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 rain
or 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 arms?
Or would you leave the snowman armless
for the sake of being harmless to the tree?
And if you would,
would you notice how that tree weeps for you
because your snowman has no arms to hug you
every time you kiss him on the cheek?
Do you kiss your friends on the cheek?
Do you sleep beside them when they’re sad,
even if it makes your lover mad?
Do you think that anger is a sincere emotion
or 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 mothers joy
when she spoke it for the very first time.
I want you 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 old
beating up little boys at school.
If you were walking by a chemical plant,
where smoke stacks were filling the sky with dark, black clouds,
would you holler, “Poison! Poison! Poison!” really loud?
Or would you whisper,
“That 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 god,
or if you believe in many gods.
Or better yet,
what gods believe in you.
And for all the times you’ve knelt before the temple of yourself,
have the prayers you’ve asked come true?
And if they didn’t did you feel denied?
And if you felt denied, denied by whom?
I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirror
on a day you’re feeling good.
I wanna know what you see in the mirror on a day you’re feeling bad.
I wanna know the first person who ever taught you your beauty
could ever be reflected on a lousy piece of glass.
If you ever reach enlightenment,
will you remember how to laugh?
Have you ever been a song?
Would you think less of me if I told you I have lived my entire life
a little off key
and I’m not nearly as smart as my poetry?
I just plagiarized the thoughts of the people around me
who 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 meadow where 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 sometimes through other people’s wounds.
And if you dream sometimes that this life is just a balloon,
that if you wanted to you could pop,
but you never would because you’d never want it to stop.
If a tree fell in the forest,
and you were the only one there to hear it,
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 walk,
and the entire walk we didn’t talk,
do you think eventually we’d kiss?
That’s askin’ too much—after all, this is only our first date.”
– Andrea Gibson