The Trouble with Small Talk

Do not ask me if I have watched 
The latest season of Game of Thrones
And then in mock horror, go on
To explain why I absolutely must watch it.
Do not talk to me about 
The magical powers of green tea and cardio at the gym
And how it helped you lose those stubborn pounds.
Do not talk to me about 
The latest shows you watch on Netflix.
Do not talk to me about your 
Most recent conquests on Tinder.
Do not humblebrag about 
How late you work, often past midnight,
But that recent trip to Spain made it all worthwhile.
No, I am not asking you to stop talking.
Talk, you must. 
Tell me :
What do you think when sleep eludes you at night?
Have you wondered at the ocean’s roar trapped in a seashell?
Have you felt humbled at your own insignificance while
Gazing at the stars twinkling in the vast skies?
Do you sometimes fiercely wish you lived in a fairer world?
Tell me:
Have you understood how privileged you are, and
Just for a fraction of a second, paused to think:
Is this privilege deserved?
Have you realized with a pang
That words can carry the venom of a scorpion’s sting,
And that death, that great leveler, will
One day take you away?
Tell me:
Do you believe in a higher power?
Have you pondered how perfectly night follows day
One after another?
When you stare into a mirror,
Tell me,
What does that person staring back
Have to say to you?

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