Both of these are books that I savored slowly. The writing lends itself to that kind of reading. I recommend them both.
From Everything Beautiful Began After by Simon Van Booy
Athens lives in the shadow of what it cannot remember, of what it could never be again. And there are people like that too.
Her dream was to become an artist–to be loved for moments beyond her own life.
[She] was upstairs. He wanted to love her, and almost could–but something restrained him. He’d felt it all his life, like arms holding him back from the happiness that would destroy him […] even though they would spend the night in each other’s arms, he would yearn for her.
She wondered if she would ever truly know him, if their togetherness would shape her life, or if, like the summer, he would fade into the beauty and sadness of all summers. There was no way to know the future. At times she felt she might open to him, but then something he said, or a subtle change in mood–and she would close again, very suddenly.
Every fiber in your body tingles. You are in the place that was meant for you. Everything had to be arranged like this to get you here. And you were ready. It’s something you feel, like a weight in both hands; it’s the faith that embodies God but incorporates logic. And there are hands we live between that open and close. Once aligned there is nothing to fear.
From By Grand Central Station I Sat Down And Wept by Elizabeth Smart
To deny love, and deceive it meanly by pretending that what is unconsummated remains eternal, or that love sublimated reaches highest to heavenly love, is repulsive, as the hypocrite’s face is repulsive when placed too near the truth.
I stand behind the gauze curtains, unable to move to meet him, or to speak, as I turn to liquid to invade his every orifice when he opens the door. More single-purposed than the new bird, all mouth with his one want, I close my eyes and tremble, anticipating the heaven of actual touch.
What you think is the sirens singing to lure you to your doom is only the voice of the inevitable, welcoming you after so long a wait. I was made only for you. Eons have been evolving and planets disintegrating and forming to compel these two together.