Works every time.

My mother tells me 
that when I meet someone I like, 
I have to ask them three questions:
1. what are you afraid of?
2. do you like dogs?
3. what do you do when it rains?
of those three, she says the first one is the most important.

“They gotta be scared of something, baby. Everybody is. If they aren’t afraid of anything, then they don’t believe in anything, either.”
I met you on a Sunday, right 
after church. One look and my heart fell in to
 my stomach like a trap door.
On our second date,
 I asked you what you were afraid of.

“spiders, mostly. being alone. little children, like, the ones who just learned how to push a kid over on the playground. oh and space. holy shit, space.” 
I asked you if you liked dogs.
 “I have three.” 
I asked you what you do when it rains. 
“sleep, mostly. sometimes I sit at the window and watch the rain droplets race. I make a shelter out of plastic in my backyard for all the stray animals; leave them food and a place to sleep.”
he smiled like he knew.
 like his mom told him the same 
“how about you?”
I’m scared of everything. 
of the hole in the o-zone layer,
of the lady next door who never 
smiles at her dog, 
and especially of all the secrets 
the government must be breaking 
it’s back trying to keep from us.
 I love dogs so much, you have no idea. 
I sleep when it rains. 
I want to tell everyone I love them.
 I want to find every stray animal and bring them home. 
I want to wake up in your hair
 and make you shitty coffee
 and kiss your neck 
and draw silly stick figures of us. 
I never want to ask anyone else 
these questions
 ever again.


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