“In the end you can't always choose what to keep. You can only choose how you let it go.”
“Everyone has something of beauty about them. But loving lets you look, and look, and look again. You notice the back of a hand, the turn of a head, the way of a walk. When you first love, you look blind and you see it all as the glorious, beloved whole, or a beautiful sum of beautiful parts. But when you see the one you love as pieces, as why's, you can love those parts too, and it's a love at once more complicated and more complete.”
“Love changes what is probable and makes unlikely things possible.”
The most reckless thing of all.”
“I climb into the dark for you
Are you waiting in the stars for me?”
“Forgetting lets you live without the pain for a moment but remembering hits hard.”
“Love has different shades. Like the way I loved Cassia when I thought she'd never love me. The way I loved her on the Hill. The way I love her now that she came into the canyon for me. It's different. Deeper. I thought I loved her and wanted her before, but as we walk through the canyon together I realize this could be more than a new shade. A whole new color.”
“It's not knowing how to write that makes you interesting, it's what you write.”
“Everyone has something of beauty about them.”
“This is a cruel thing to do because when someone knows your story they know you. And they can hurt you. It's why I give mine away in pieces, even to Cassia.”
“We can either try to change everything or just make the most of whatever time we have.”
“For a moment nothing happens. The figure stands still and I stand cold and alive and-
He starts to run. I make my way down the rocks, slipping, sliding, trying to get to the plain. I wish, I think, my feet clumsy, moving too fast, not fast enough, I wish i could run, I wish I'd written a whole poem, I wish I kept the compass-
And then I reach the plain and wish for nothing but what I have. Ky. Running toward me. I have never seen him run like this, fast, free, strong, wild. He looks so beautiful, his body moves so right. He stops just close enough for me to see the blue of his eyes and forget the red on my hands and the green I wish I wore. "You're here," he says, breathing hard and hungry. sweat and dirt cover his face, and he looks at me as though I'm the only thing he ever needed to see. I open my mouth to say yes. But I only have time to breathe in before he closes the last of the distance. All I know is the kiss.”
“Cassia and I sit as near to each other as we can. She leans into me and I keep my arms around her. I don't fool myself that I hold her together- she does that on her own- but holding her keeps me from flying apart.”
“I didn't know all that was inside of him, either. I thought I did, but people run deep and complicated like rivers, hold their shape and are carved upon like stone.”
“Because once you love, it is gone. You love and you cannot call it back.”
“I run for her.
I run for them.
“We have all been carved out by our sorrow. Cut deep like canyon walls.”
“Because in the end you can't always choose what to keep. You can only choose how you let it go.”
“Death,” I say. “ It’s the one thing they haven’t fully conquered. They want to know more about it.”
“I never named anything I've written before
no reason to
it would all have the same title anyway
but I would call this one
when we let the world be only you
and only me
we stood on it while it spun
green and blue and red
the music ended
“I decided that it was the thoughts in your own mind that mattered more than anything else.”
“And it is strange that absence can feel like presence.”
“I marked a map for every death
For every ache and blow
My world was all a page of black
With nothing left but snow.”
“Maybe only parts of our stories can keep us safe. The whole can feel like too much to bear.”
“I have a sense that we have not yet arrived, that we are still reaching. For each other. For who we are meant to be.”
“Two little dark figures, looking up. Are they looking at me? Is is him? This far away there's only one way to know. I point to the sky.”
“One night," Ky says, "doesn't seem like much to ask."
I don't speak. He moves closer and I feel his cheek against mine and breathe in the scent of sage and pine, of old dust and fresh water and of him.
"For one night, can we just think of each other? Not the Society or the Rising or even our families?"
"No," I say.
"No what?" He tangles one of his hands in my hair, the other draws me closer still.
"No, I don't think we can," I say. "And no, it isn't too much to ask.”
“Time, Vick said, "is what we don't have.”
“She cried before she slept. I reached out to touch the ends of her hair. She didn't notice. I didn't know what to do. Listening to her made me ache. I felt tears stream down my face too. And when I accidentally brushed Eli with my arm his face was wet where his tears ran down. We have all been carved out by our sorrow. Cut deep like canyon walls.”
“I'm just a butterfly, a mourning cloak, sealed inside a cocoon with blnd eyes and stiky wings. And suddenly I wonder if the cocoons sometimes do not open, if the butterfly inside is ever simply not strong enough to break through.”
“My body is precious and not separate from my soul.”
“It's weird I don't know anything about you,"
"What are you talking about? We just spent the whole day together."
"Yes, but we drank loads and chatted about - I don't even know what we chatted about,"
"I like conversations like that," Tom said. "Much less hard work. with my ex, it was like pulling teeth sometimes. We had loads in common but we didn't see the world the same way." He stopped. "Oh, that sounds good. I should write it down." He got out his phone.
"You're writing that down?"
"Yep" Tom said, fiddling with his phone
She stared at him, trying not to laugh. "Wow. You are weird, do you know that," she said. "Most of the time you're almost normal, but occasionally your super-weird side comes out.”
“Surely a spirited old lady may be the prettiest sight in the world.”
“Youre gonna grow up and marry some ice cream! Haha!”
“The watching feeling is getting worse.
I am not an experiment.
I am not a stupid joke, or a trippy game, or an experiment. I will not go insane. Something bad is gonnae happen, though. I can feel it. It’s in the way that crisp bag has faded from the rain. I am not an experiment. If I keep saying it, I’ll start believing it. I have to try. I am not an experiment. It doesnae sound convincing. It sounds stupid.
Try it in German. Ich bin nicht eine experiment. My German’s shite. Inhale slowly to the count of four, look hard at the tip of my nose and try again. This time I go for an official BBC broadcaster circa-1940 accent.
Today, one finds one is not, in actual fact, a social experiment. One is a real person. This is real actual skin as seen containing the bodily organs of a real actual human being with a heart and soul and dreams.
It’s true that I came from real people once too, and they were a jolly old sort, with no naked psycho-ess in any way.
I, the young Miss Anais, understand wholly that I am just a human being that no one is interested in. No experiment. No outside fate. I am not that important, and that is just fine by me. I propose a stiff upper lip and onward Christian soldiers, quick-bloody-march! This is Anais Hendricks, telling the nation: to be me is really quite spiff-fucking-spoff, lashings of love, your devoted BBC broadcaster since 1938.”
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