Do you ever wonder what it's like to come face-to-face
with the planets? To curl your fingers in the air without
meeting thousands of plaster ceilings? What if I showed you
how to cross Saturn's rings, inhale the atmosphere of Venus?
You would enter the Earth (and it's a strange place to call home,
really) with ice crystals at the corners of your mouth and ash
clouds stuck to the insides of your fingernails. Let me tell you,
it's a beginner's worry that you'll burn up in the atmosphere,
but I've had helium and hydrogen daubed on the base of my tongue.
Oh, and do you ever brush past the windows on train carriages
and wonder what cornfields are like when they're your sky
and your Earth's crust? What if I took you to the white cliffs
of somewhere or other and taught you how to spread your wings
and not hit the ground? What if I showed you mazes, and became
the red threads around your thumbs? If you'll just trust me, I'll let you
see that getting lost should only worry you in jungles of concrete - holly
bushes and sea salt are perfectly pleasant things to vanish in. You're
collecting berries and puncturing them, purple stains on chilled skin.
And here's the main thing. Do you ever read the words Hemingway
bled out of his ink pens and wonder what it's like to exhale prose
and have poetry knotting itself around your knuckles and ankles?
That's the one thing you won't be able to taste unless you face it.
Does the word 'lyric' turn to lemon juice on your tongue, do rhymes
spatter the ground when you spit them out? Now, I don't want to worry
you, but if you open your veins to papyrus:
He puts pen to paper and bleeds a saga.