"The sky bled pink, then violet. Ezra reached up to turn on the light. 'Mary-Alice,' he said, with the gentlest forbearance conceivable. 'Your silences are very effective. Do you know?'"

Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday

"...but he felt the relief of being alone as well: the usual relief of a guest who has closed his door, and a deeper thing, the forgotten solitude which measures and verifies the strength of an affair, and which, being temporary, is a kind of pleasure."

The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst

Galway Kinnell 

Wait, for now. 
Distrust everything if you have to. 
But trust the hours. Haven't they
carried you everywhere, up to now?
Personal events will become interesting again. 
Hair will become interesting. 
Pain will become interesting. 
Buds that open out of season will become interesting. 
Second-hand gloves will become lovely again; 
their memories are what give them 
the need for other hands. And the desolation 
of lovers is the same: that enormous emptiness
carved out of such tiny beings as we are 
asks to be filled; the need 
for the new love is faithfulness to the old. 

Don't go too early. 
You're tired. Everyone's tired. 
But no one is tired enough. 
Only wait a little and listen:
music of hair 
music of pain 
music of looms weaving all our loves again. 
Be there to hear it, it will be the only time, 
most of all to hear 
the flute of your whole existence, 
rehearsed by the sorrows, play itself into total exhaustion.  

The Art of Losing: Poems of Grief and Healing edited by Kevin Young

"When Esperanza was born, a pair of serpents lived inside my head. Their job was to warn me of the dangers of motherhood, which boiled down to this: If you touch your baby, she will die. My body, commandeered, a vessel of evil, was leaking evil into my child. The serpents spoke in opposite voices. If one was soft, the other was loud...they scrutinized my every move."

Everything Here Is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee

"I figured this artist's head was a voracious and energetic and a generally good place for a blue person to spend the day. This did not turn out to be the case. Her installation was on the fourth of six very tall floors. The elevator failed and failed to come. Waiting for it stretched me to the breaking point. A drink would have done me, or a drink plus a controlled substance, or an uncontrolled substance plus a love affair, or all of these plus a leap from a high window."

The Folded Clock: A Diary by Heidi Julavits

"Grandmama will ask me if I am okay. 'No,' I will tell her. 'I'm not sure any of us are okay.'"

Heavy by Kiese Laymon

"What the dopey, bloviating culture of think piece-y optimism needs is renewed, radical pessimism: an acknowledgement that the machinations of the culture industry are bad, and that it is the duty of the critic to oppose them.

Hater by John Semley

"This morning I was assailed by such sadness at the velocity of life -- the distance I've traveled from my own youth, the persistence of the old regrets, the new regrets, the ability of failure to freshen itself in novel forms -- that I almost crashed the car."

The Largesse of the Sea Maiden by Denis Johnson

 "I've long suspected that women subconsciously accept some version of the belief that we're supposed to want secure romantic relationships more than anything in the world. The logical extension of that is an expectation that we should want to stay, to make it work, the moment we find a partner who is decent and willing. It's still a broadly accepted facet of collective pseudoscience that while men are biologically compelled to spread their seed, we women are wired to be bond-formers, family-builders, nature's natural nurturers."

Hard to Do: The Surprising, Feminist History of Breaking Up by Kelli Maria Korducki

"'I realize now,' I went on relentlessly. 'More than a person, I'm a convenience store worker. Even if that means I'm abnormal and can't make a living and drop down dead, I can't escape that fact. My very cells exist for the convenience store.'"

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata