"I am not the first person you loved.
You are not the first person I looked at
with a mouthful of forevers. We
have both known loss like the sharp edge
of a knife. We have both lived with lips
more scar tissue than skin. Our love came
unannounced in the middle of the night.
Our love came when we’d given up
on asking love to come. I think
that has to be part
of its miracle.
This is how we heal.
I will kiss you like forgiveness. You
will hold me like I’m hope. Our arms
will bandage and we will press promises
between us like flowers in a book.
I will write sonnets to the salt of sweat
on your skin. I will write novels to the scar
on your nose. I will write a dictionary
of all the words I have used trying
to describe the way it feels to have finally,
finally found you.
And I will not be afraid
of your scars.
I know sometimes
it’s still hard to let me see you
in all your cracked perfection,
but please know:
whether it’s the days you burn
more brilliant than the sun
or the nights you collapse into my lap
your body broken into a thousand questions,
you are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
I will love you when you are a still day.
I will love you when you are a hurricane.
"It is funny how you do not miss affection until it is given, but once it is, it can never be enough; you would drown in it if possible."
Libba Bray, The Sweet Far Thing
"if people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that it will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry."
A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
"…and come live with me. And die with me, and everything with me."
Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
"He loved her in a subtle kind of way. It wasn’t the kind of love you see in movies, with swelling music and giant gestures and running through the streets to catch a departing train. It wasn’t the kind of love that Byron or Shakespeare wrote about, with flowery language and hyperbole and iambic pentameter. It was still and deep, like water that you might mistake for shallow if you just watched the surface. It was entirely his, not dependent on her own feelings for him, and it would still be there whether she, or him, or everyone else on the world disappeared. It was a subtle kind of love, but it was true."
Jake Christie, Small Stories
Something came up
out of the dark.
It wasn’t anything I had ever seen before.
It wasn’t an animal
or a flower,
unless it was both. Something came up out of the water,
a head the size of a cat
but muddy and without ears.
I don’t know what God is.
I don’t know what death is. But I believe they have between them
some fervent and necessary arrangement.
melancholy leaves me breathless…
Water from the heavens! Electricity from the source!
Both of them mad to create something! The lighting brighter than any flower.
The thunder without a drowsy bone in its body.
Instructions for living a life:
Tell about it.
Two or three times in my life I discovered love.
Each time it seemed to solve everything.
Each time it solved a great many things
but not everything.
Yet left me as grateful as if it had indeed, and
thoroughly, solved everything.
God, rest in my heart
and fortify me,
take away my hunger for answers,
let the hours play upon my body like the hands of my beloved.
Let the cathead appear again-
the smallest of your mysteries,
some wild cousin of my own blood probably-
some cousin of my own wild blood probably,
in the black dinner-bowl of the pond.
Death waits for me, I know it, around
one corner or another.
This doesn’t amuse me.
Neither does it frighten me. After the rain, I went back into the field of sunflowers.
It was cool, and I was anything but drowsy.
I walked slowly, and listened to the crazy roots, in the drenched earth, laughing and growing.
Mary Oliver, “Sometimes”
And I wish we were old
and in front of a grand painting,
a picture or postcard of
Picasso’s “Guernica” perhaps.
It would be then that I would tell you
Picasso once said that it took him his entire life
to learn how to paint like a child.
It would be through these words
that would make you understand
the same clarity that pooled over me
on that ledge those years before
when as a young man I extended
like direction, like timbre itself
for a dying song that echoed your name.
Gabriel Gomez, Timbre
"You know, it is a character thing. People label themselves with all sorts of adjectives. I can only pronounce myself as “nauseatingly miserable beyond repair”."
Franz Kafka, from a diary entry dated 4 March 1915
"We are asleep. Our Life is a dream. But we wake up sometimes, just enough to know that we are dreaming."
"Trees talk to each other at night.
All fish are named either Lorna or Jack.
Before your eyeballs fall out from watching too much TV, they get very loose.
Tiny bears live in drain pipes.
If you are very very quiet you can hear the clouds rub against the sky.
The moon and the sun had a fight a long time ago.
Everyone knows at least one secret language.
When nobody is looking, I can fly.
We are all held together by invisible threads.
Books get lonely too.
Sadness can be eaten.
I will always be there."
Raul Gutierrez, “Lies I’ve Told My 3 Year Old Recently”
"How astonishing it is that language can almost mean,
and frightening that it does not quite. Love, we say,
God, we say, Rome and Michiko, we write, and the words
get it all wrong. We say bread and it means according
to which nation. French has no word for home,
and we have no word for strict pleasure. A people
in northern India is dying out because their ancient
tongue has no words for endearment. I dream of lost
vocabularies that might express some of what
we no longer can. Maybe the Etruscan texts would
finally explain why the couples on their tombs
are smiling. And maybe not. When the thousands
of mysterious Sumerian tablets were translated,
they seemed to be business records. But what if they
are poems or psalms? My joy is the same as twelve
Ethiopian goats standing silent in the morning light.
O Lord, thou art slabs of salt and ingots of copper,
as grand as ripe barley lithe under the wind’s labor.
Her breasts are six white oxen loaded with bolts
of long-fibered Egyptian cotton. My love is a hundred
pitchers of honey. Shiploads of thuya are what
my body wants to say to your body. Giraffes are this
desire in the dark. Perhaps the spiral Minoan script
is not language but a map. What we feel most has
no name but amber, archers, cinnamon, horses, and birds."