“You know, they straightened out the Mississippi River in places to make room for houses & livable acreage. Occasionally the river floods these places. ‘Floods’ is the word they use, but in fact it is not flooding; it is remembering. Remembering where it used to be. All water has a perfect memory and is forever trying to get back to where it was. Writers are like that…. Like water, I remember where I was before I was straightened out.”

Toni Morrison, “The Site of Memory”

I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body,
the sovereign nose of your arrogant face,
I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,

and I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight,
hunting for you, for your hot heart,
like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue.

—  Pablo Neruda, from “I Crave Your Mouth, Your Voice, Your Hair”
I think we all just want someone who can see the beauty we can’t see in ourselves.
Not someone that romanticizes the mess and calls it beautiful, but someone that walks boldly into our brokenness, sees us spread-eagle in the middle of the wreckage and says that we’re worth salvaging.
—  Maxwell Diawuoh, Once A Day (204/366)