There’s a little jewel of a poem by Kathryn Regina at Opium called “I Want to Know You.” It’s playfully humorous without being sarcastic, earnest without being sentimental—the tone is dead on. Simply put, it makes me smile.
In the poem, Regina speaks endearingly to the second person pronoun, and one is first compelled to think she’s addressing you, the reader.
As the poem moves forward, [you] begin to suspect she’s referring to something bigger, with Genesis and/or Purgatory light/fire allusions like, “I want to know every fire you have ever lit,” and the clever, “Do you have the internet in your pinkie?”
That she is speaking to Jesus is confirmed with “Tell me how much sadness/ there is in your body and where it is located.” With a simple line, she conveys more about the Passion than Mel Gibson ever dreamed. And there’s this minor epiphany: “You feel like email to me.”
The poem works as an e-generation hymn. It’s so odd to come across a poem that’s so optimistic. She ends it with a surreal kick: absurd, haunting, and beautiful:
I want to know everything about you.
What kinds of trees appear in your dreams
and what whale is beached in your room when you wake.
I don’t know if Regina is religious, and I don’t think that’s the point. Christians ruin Christianity with hypocrisy and hubris (and the constant ‘holy wars’ aren’t helping the PR). This poem may just well redeem this whole Jesus thing, as it reminds us of the simple act of love. Non-sexual, non-platonic. Just love.
Perhaps she’s speaking to you after all.