Words Can Be Comets

These letters and syllables we play with are like the gritty heads of comets—miniscule in mass, but vivid in the luminescence that surrounds them. Why does a comet have a fiery tail? From the impact of plasma as it nears the sun.  At the outer reaches of its orbit, a comet is a cold, sluggish conglomerate of interplanetary gravel. But then it plunges toward the light, to contest its speed with the field of the sun that locks it in a long ellipse. The stony nucleus stirs to life, whipped around the sun by the lash of gravity. Words can be comets, carrying bright clouds of context, signaling to us with a glow of multiple meanings. They splay out from the near weightless nucleus of syllables, challenged by a force field of ideas, made radiant by the impact of thought. Leaf through the bulk of today’s mail: drab constellations of expected and smog-dimmed stars. Why not write in letters of fire? We need events in our literary sky. Astonish us with the coming of a comet.