A widow is sort of a holy figure, while a divorcée is a tawdry one.
“I think he does not care for art; I fancy he has not even read Pushkin.”
The distant past returned—what part of it, he could not decide.
For my vacation last summer, I visited the Bateer family in Xiwuqi.
My grandfather committed my grandmother to a mental asylum.
Neither blood nor belonging accounted for my presence in Ghana.
Man is always beginning everything anew, even in his own life.
Chess was a humiliation that hung over him like a leper’s bell.
Is she dreaming of the rivers soft with codling in her hometown?
It was true. We would probably never visit that place again.
Some inner voice told her that now or never her fate would be decided.
She favoured me with an even more viciously scornful “Don’t care!”
I was convinced she’d be back in the morning, like the sun.
After breakfast I set out to see what my wild neighbors have been up to.
However hard you try to make amends, they will still condemn you.
We are going south where I know that my father is going to die.
The guards ripped off Mara’s clothes, pinning her head against the wall.
The animals are dying. All the beautiful women are dying too.
All night the insects’ grinding jaws chewed through the darkness.
If he’d had that seat belt on, he would have been pinned inside.
I sit next to a man I never loved but let kiss me wetly for two months.
Our life is fine as it is, she would say to him, and it seemed true.
The event was an accelerator. So much matter crashed, vaporized.
…when you walk to the edge of the Mekong and make a wish…
From the flight deck Gray could see home, wherever that might be.
This is the day when the saints all go silently to church in France.
Devanand Simon was twenty-five when the bodies fell from the sky.
I couldn’t love the tree in every soul shouldering its own tiny autumn.
He fell to the floor and begged the gods. The gods were silent.