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 8
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 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 who?
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 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 asking too much
—after all, this is only our first date.
That night when you kissed me, I left a poem in your mouth.
You can hear some of the lines every time you breathe out.
It’s not the best thing I’ve ever written.
I’m still working on my rhythm.
My tongue gets tied sometimes.
My throat gets dry.
My voice starts trembling,
Honestly, the only thing I’ve mastered is how to write a really good ending.
But I’m getting pretty tired of finish lines.
So this morning I bought a needle and a thread and started stitching you a sunrise.
And the seams are tattered and torn because I got the cloth from an old shirt I was wearing the first time the world started tearing me open,
and I’ve been choking for my breath since then…
I don’t know the words to the song you were born to sing,
but I know your fingers will bleed when you play the cords
and maybe you’ll need me then like I need you now
when I say that I miss you I mean something more.
I mean I’ve been biding my time till you kiss me again.
I keep poems like secrets and then tell them when I’m tried of hiding who I am.
I am missing you most
in the silence between songs on my favorite record.
Sometimes it takes so long for the music to start…
When two violins are placed in a room if a chord on one violin is struck
the other violin will sound the note
If this is your definition of hope
This is for you
The ones who know how powerful we are
Who know we can sound the music in the people around us
simply by playing our own strings
for the ones who sing life into broken wings
open their chests and offer their breath
as wind on a still day when nothing seems to be moving
Spare those intent on proving god is dead
For you when your fingers are red
from clutching your heart
so it will beat faster
For the time you mastered the art of giving yourself for the sake of someone else
For the ones who have felt what it is to crush the lies
and lift truth so high the steeples bow to the sky
This is for you
This is also for the people who wake early to watch flowers bloom
Who notice the moon at noon on a day when the world
has slapped them in the face with its lack of light…
This is for the times you went through hell so someone else wouldn’t have to…
This is for saying yes
I wish I was a photograph
tucked into the corners of your wallet
I wish I was a photograph
you carried like a future in your back pocket
I wish I was that face you show to strangers
when they ask you where you come from
I wish I was that someone that you come from
every time you get there
And when you get there
I wish I was that someone who got phone calls
And postcards saying
Wish you were here
I wish you were here
Autumn is the hardest season
The leaves are all falling
And they’re falling like they’re falling in love with the ground
And the trees are naked and lonely
I keep trying to tell them
New leaves will come around in the spring
But you can’t tell trees those things
They’re like me they just stand there
And don’t listen
I wish you were here
I’ve been missing you like crazy
I’ve been hazy eyed
Staring at the bottom of my glass again
Thinking of that time when it was so full
It was like we were tapping the moon for moonshine
Or sticking straws into the center of the sun
And sipping like icarus would forever kiss
The bullets from our guns
I never meant to fire you know
I know you never meant to fire lover
I know we never meant to hurt each other
Now the sky clicks from black to blue
And dusk looks like a bruise
I’ve been wrapping one night stands
Around my body like wedding bands
But none of them fit in the morning
They just slip off my fingers and slip out the door
And all that lingers is the scent of you
I once swore if I threw that scent into a wishing well
All the wishes in the world would come true
Do you remember
Do you remember the night I told you
I’ve never seen anything more perfect than
Than snow falling in the glow of a street light
Electricity bowing to nature
Mind bowing to heartbeat
This is gonna hurt bowing to I love you
I still love you like moons love the planets they circle around
Like children love recess bells
I still hear the sound of you
And think of playgrounds
Where outcasts who stutter
Beneath braces and bruises and acne
Finally learning that their rich handsome bullies
Are never gonna grow up to be happy
I think of happy when I think of you
So wherever you are I hope you’re happy
I really do
I hope the stars are kissing your cheeks tonight
I hope you finally found a way to quit smoking
I hope your lungs are open and breathing this life
I hope there’s a kite in your hand
That’s flying all the way up to orion
And you still got a thousand yards of string to let out
I hope you’re smiling
Like God is pulling at the corners of your mouth
‘Cause I might be naked and lonely
Shaking branches for bones
But I’m still time zones away
From who I was the day before we met
You were the first mile
Where my heart broke a sweat
And I wish you were here
I wish you’d never left
But mostly I wish you well
I wish you my very very best