I’m afraid if I don’t write I will lose the words that are smooth, and rough and satiny and taste like warm brandy, or muddled fruit drinks, and glisten like diamonds and ripple like black velvet and hang heavy like rain-soaked wool and lift like gentle smoke from families’ hearths and soar like wind-swept chiffon, and streak like eagles to their high places and plummet like meteors and hurt like saw teeth and cure like jasmine-scented balm and pull tears from my eyes, and groans from my throat. I must write the words that are like lilting notes of the mockingbird and trumpets from the swan and crashes from tinny brass cymbals, and fragrance the air like basil and rosemary and wrap me in warmth and cool me with their jagged edges like icicles drawn across my palms, and run like fire branded gazelles and roll like spring baseballs on grass. I need the words that sound like the hems of taffeta or crinolines rustling across the grass, and the clink of martini glasses, and the pouring of a fine red into crystal goblets that hold a promise. I must have the words that splash light from a candelabra across old polished mahogany, and bathe faces in youth at least for a moment.
If I don’t write, I may misplace the words that wake me like screaming roosters, or symphonies of street equipment and city noise, and lull me like low-volume TV news, and make me laugh like baby-joy, and excite me like the lyric baritone singing his aria where each note is a finger that strokes my forehead and caresses my shoulders, and the words that calm me like trade winds from the shore by the white sand beaches.
I might forget phrases that remind me that shells are jewels from the sea, found by the disciplined in daydreams, and that raindrops can sting my face, or anoint my brow, that the pointy heads of toadstools arrive after a very wet week and stand like clusters of gnomes surveying the new clover. I may misplace the words that convey the feeling of the soft but distinct stab in a soul, when insults are hurled by the one least expected to inflict pain, or of moist nights and warm breath, or soft sounds of two hearts beating, of lying in the desert sun with the smell of sage lacing the air, or the warm blush when a compliment comes from a sincere heart, or the gentle giving in, the submission of the cool white and black keys to fingers desiring to coax a new melody from an old piano. If I don’t write, I may miss the words that create the opportunity for kites to dance a pas de deux in the wind, and to speak a silent language to those who hold them, I may miss the words that make me feel and dream and see and say and experience and know and smell and…I couldn’t bear it.