It’s All in the Details

It’s all in the details, I’m told,
Eyelashes lined up like bamboos in the wind on a blinking eye
Veins sending droplets of water stretched on a leaf
Whiskers trembling on a dog sniffing the breeze
A glint of fiery green on a hummingbird’s wing.

It’s all in the details, I’ve heard say,
The oxygen-sucking scent of a match lighting a dark room
The spicy smell of an orange peeled, tickling the nose
The remembered sea, sun and sand smell of sunscreen lotion slathered on suntanned skin
The pungency of teenager boy, sweaty after a hot football afternoon in the field.

It’s all in the details, some claim,
The touch of a newborn butterfly’s wavering, skinny legs on my hand before it opens its slow-drying wings
The sun rays burning the neckline under my hair as I hike on the trail
A dog’s curvy head, nudging itself under my palm, its short tickling hairs
The ever-cool, scratchy-smooth feel of a manzanita branch in the shade.

It’s all in the details, you know,
Chocolate melting in sweetness down an eager throat
Lemon juice curdling the tongue
Tomato and cucumbers, sliced salad, bursting in a flavor of my grandma’s love,
Papaya, pulpy and velvety, a taste of Hawaii.

It’s all in the details
It is?
But what if
I’m near sighted
My eyes are weak
What if the only details I see are blobs of color
What if I spent the last twenty years too depressed to see anything other
Than fog and blurriness and smooshed up
Somehow
Togetherness of nothing?

It’s all in the details, the experts say,
Scent
Sight
Taste
Touch
Sound
So they say
But what if I can’t taste the trace of blackberries in wine
Or see the golden flakes in a girl’s eyes
Or smell anything in my allergy-stuffed nose that dreads working its neurons
Or hear anything other than a mess of sound in a jazz concert?

It’s all in the details, I guess,
But I’m afraid,
What if
After all these years of depressing my brain
I’m too closed off to see anything other than color blobs
And smell anything other than strong smells (aversion) or weak (blah, but fine)
And touch anything but hot and cold or soft and rough
And taste anything but good or not (chocolate is good)
Or hear anything other than a cacophony of sound (that jazz concert I misunderstood).

And so, part of me wonders
Has there been a depressed writer before (my heart whispers, sure)
Has there been a blind writer before (surely sure)
Has there been a writer who had parts that went berserk whenever writing was mentioned
Whose perfection refused to allow anything other than perfection
Who couldn’t write more than a few words on the page
Whose only way to release the pressure
The earthquake that threatened
The need to express
To write
To tell
Was
This?

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