Walk up in my high heels, all high and mighty
And you say, “Hello”
And I lose
While she sleeps, I paint
Valencia oranges across her skin,
seven times the color orange,
a bright tree glittering the limestone grotto of her clavicle—
— Natalie Diaz, from “I Lean Out the Window and She Nods Off in Bed,
the Needle Gently Rocking on the Bedside Table,” in When My Brother Was an Aztec
—the walls have been mortared with grief, dark enough
to make blindness a gift—we don’t have to look each other in the eyes.
— Natalie Diaz, from “As a Consequence of My Brother Stealing All the Lightbulbs,” in When My Brother Was an Aztec
Maybe you have grown out of yours—
maybe you no longer haul those wounds with you
onto every bus, through the side streets of a new town,
maybe you have never set them rocking in the lamplight
on a nightstand beside a stranger’s bed, carrying your hurts
like two cracked pomegranates, because you haven’t learned
to see the beauty of a busted fruit, the bright stain it will leave
on your lips, the way it will make people want to kiss you.
— Natalie Diaz, from “The Beauty of a Busted Fruit,” in When My Brother Was an Aztec
to have you a last time, at last, a touch away,
but then, to not reach out
because my hands are dressed in scarves of smoke;
to lie silent at your side,
an ember more brilliant with each yellow breath,
glowing and dying and dying again,
dreaming a mesquite forest I once stripped to fire
before the sky went ash, undid its dark ribbons,
and bent to the ground, grief-ruined,
as I watch you from the window—
in this city, the city of you, where I am a beggar—
— Natalie Diaz, from “Monday Aubade,” in When My Brother Was an Aztec
When the doctor says the word sarcoma, I consider how it might be a nice name for a daughter, that good feminine a, the way parents name their children for all sorts of inappropriate things—apples, for instance, or the place where the baby was conceived—and I trace my fingers over the barrow of my belly as he speaks, flesh distended beneath the blue tissue I wear for a dress—an ideal grief frock, throwaway—and he says something about life expectancy but of course I expect my life, so plain I thought nothing would ever take it, and while he explains I cup my palms around my center—as if comforting a child, or covering her ears.
— Leila Chatti, “Sarcoma,” in Deluge
how do i have 12K 😳 this really means i need to stop sharing personal stuff on here
—if I could remember a day when I was utterly a girl
and not yet a woman—
but I don’t think there was a day like that for me.
When I look at the girl I was, dripping in her bathing suit,
or riding her bike, pumping hard down the newly paved street,
she wears a furtive look—
and even if I could go back in time to her as me, the age I am now
she would never come into my arms
without believing that I wanted something.
— Marie Howe, from “The Girl,” in What the Living Do: Poems
I scarcely remember the crust of the snow.
I scarcely remember the icy dawns and the sun like a lamp without a fuse.
I don’t remember the fury of loneliness.
— Mary Oliver, from “Crows”
June Jordan, from “In Memoriam,” in Haruko: Love Poems
[text ID: We ate
A family tremulous but fortified
like the lilies
filled to the very living
one solid gospel
one fall Black lily
in a homemade field
Watching In The Mood For Love 19 times in one year
hi! in your own words, what is fiction (fiction books)? love your blog so much 💞
i love to think of fiction as a way of putting into words what it means to be human. i feel like every book of fiction can be reduced to this. exploring large matters such as hope, compassion, love, through individual characters and stories. a beautifully crafted portrait of the human experience
“But—that one summer of bliss. In that kitchen. I was not afraid of burns or scars; I didn’t suffer from sleepless nights. Every day I thrilled with pleasure at the challenges tomorrow would bring. Memorizing the recipe, I would make carrot cakes that included a bit of my soul. At the supermarket I would stare at a bright red tomato, loving it for dear life. Having known such joy, there was no going back.”
-Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto.
“Her hair rustled, brushing her shoulders. There are many days when all the awful things that happen make you sick at heart, when the path before you is so steep you can’t bear to look. Not even love can rescue a person from that. Still, enveloped in the twilight coming from the west, there she was, watering the plants with her slender, graceful hands, in the midst of a light so sweet it seemed to form a rainbow in the transparent water she poured. “I think I understand.””
-Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto