Love is flesh, it is a
     flower flooded with blood.

—Marina Tsvetaeva, from “Poem of the End” (translated by Elaine Feinstein)

I no longer remember you separately 
as a face but a white emptiness

without true features. All – is a 
whiteness. (My spirit is one 
uninterrupted wound.)

—Marina Tsvetaeva, from “Poem of the Mountain” (translated by Elaine Feinstein)

The wind is level now, the earth is wet with dew,
the storm of stars in the sky will turn to quiet.
And soon all of us will sleep under the earth, we
who never let each other sleep above it.

—Marina Tsvetaeva, from “I know the truth” (translated by Elaine Feinstein)

Look at the children of the land leaving in droves, leaving their own land with bleeding wounds on their bodies and shock on their faces and blood in their hearts and hunger in their stomachs and grief in their footsteps. Leaving their mothers and fathers and children behind, leaving their umbilical cords underneath the soil, leaving the bones of their ancestors in the earth, leaving everything that makes them who and what they are, leaving because it is no longer possible to stay. They will never be the same again because you just cannot be the same once you leave behind who and what you are, you just cannot be the same.

—NoViolet Bulawayo, We Need New Names

My fondest memories are sitting on my grandmother’s porch, next to her garden in the sun on a perfectly warm day, staring at the sky, feeling safe no matter how bad or sad things were for me-. Just sky-watching, knowing that this sky stretched on for miles and miles and that so many people existed under that blue sky. I believed during those times in the many possibilities of the world, and even if things were really bad, one of those possibilities of happiness would someday open for me. Mary, The Root, gave me that space to dream.

Miss Queenly, “Death of the Root: Mary, 86, beloved grandma

It’s as if death makes our hearts grow deeper.

—Ko Un, from “Crossing Rice Fields at Nightfall” (translated by Brother Anthony of Taizé, David R.McCann, and Kevin O’Rourke)

If your soul is called,
mine too answers,
shuddering to grasp
for the first time
this alliance of two souls.

— Kim Nam-jo, from “Love’s Cursive” (translated by David McCann and Hyunjae Yee Sallee)