❝ Be you. Whoever that is. Your purest truth. Be a blinding anomaly. ❞
Hands Like Houses,
“A Tale of Outer Suburbia” (via mirroir)
❝ Is our skin to keep the world out or our bodies in? ❞
Osip Mandelstam, from “Black Sun,” trans. Clarence Brown and W. S. Merwin, Selected Poems (Atheneum, 1974)
❝ Nothing can erase this night
but there’s still light with you. ❞
❝ to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you’ve held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again. ❞
Leo Tolstoy to Valeria Arsenev (November, 1856)
❝ I already love in you your beauty, but I am only beginning to love in you that which is eternal and ever previous – your heat, your soul. Beauty one could get to know and fall in love with in one hour and cease to love it as speedily; but the soul one must learn to know. Believe me, nothing on earth is given without labour, even love, the most beautiful and natural of feelings. ❞
Margaret Atwood, adapted from “The Bog Man,” Wilderness Tips
❝ She starts to cry. She’s crying because she no longer wants to marry him. She no longer wants him. The divinity is going out of him, like air… She is mourning his collapse. ❞
Margaret Atwood, from “Isis in Darkness,” Wilderness Tips
❝ There would be the occasional real poem, and he would catch his breath. Nothing else could drop him through space like that, then catch him; nothing else could peel him open. ❞
She is drawing and redrawing herself,
her skin sore from erasure.
—Esther Morgan, from “Self Portrait”
Andrea Gibson, from “Pole Dancer,” Pole Dancing to Gospel Hymns
❝ .. this is not just another poem.
This is my goddamn revolt.
I am done holding my tongue like a bible. ❞
Lorrie Moore, from “To Fill,” Self Help
❝ And your calluses press against my lips and teeth and your fingers strum my smile like a harp I am yours, yours, despite your stories I am yours ❞