Freshwater Quotes

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Freshwater Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi
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Freshwater Quotes Showing 1-30 of 93
“Understand this if you understand nothing: it is a powerful thing to be seen”
Akwaeke Emezi, Freshwater
“Sometimes, you recognize truth because it destroys you for a bit.”
Akwaeke Emezi, Freshwater
tags: truth
“The world in my head has been far more real than the one outside—maybe that’s the exact definition of madness, come to think of it.”
Akwaeke Emezi, Freshwater
“The first madness was that we were born, that they stuffed a god into a bag of skin.”
Akwaeke Emezi, Freshwater
“But I've learned that you can't force forever on the wrong people. They belong exactly where they are, giving exactly what they want to. I don't ask for anything more. I figure I shouldn't have to.”
Akwaeke Emezi, Freshwater
“It was interesting for us to watch, how he didn’t even have to go anywhere in order to leave her.”
Akwaeke Emezi, Freshwater
“We understood what was necessary -humans often fail at listening, as if their stubbornness will convince the truth to change, as if they have that kind of power. They do, however, understand forceful things, cruelties--they obey those.”
Akwaeke Emezi, Freshwater
“It was her first time kissing a white person, and briefly, she wondered why he didn’t have any lips.”
Akwaeke Emezi, Freshwater
“I was furious. It was if staying alive just gave everyone else time to leave you.”
Akwaeke Emezi, Freshwater
“And while he loves humans (he was born of one, lived and died as one), what they forget is that he loves them as a god does, which is to say, with a taste for suffering.”
Akwaeke Emezi, Freshwater
“The worst part of embodiment is being unseen.”
Akwaeke Emezi, Freshwater
“I held my breath, but it didn't feel like I was holding my breath, it felt like there should never have been breath. It felt like the entire concept of breath had been something I imagined. After all, my body was never meant to move like this. These lungs had to have been built for show. They should never have expanded and I should never have been alive.”
Akwaeke Emezi, Freshwater
“I can see you change,” he told us, his eyes narrowed in interest. “Your body language. How you talk. Your eyes. You’re not always the same person, are you?”
Akwaeke Emezi, Freshwater
“And this is how you break a child, you know. Step one, take the mother away.”
Akwaeke Emezi, Freshwater
“Think of brief insanities that are in you, not just the ones that blossomed as you grew into taller, more sinful versions of yourself, but the ones were born with, tucked behind your liver.”
Akwaeke Emezi, Freshwater
“All the madnesses, each and every blinding one, they can all be traced back to the gates. Those carved monstrosities, those clay and chalk portals, existing everywhere and nowhere and all at once. They open, things are born, they close. The opening is easy, a pushing out, an expansion, an inhalation: the dust of divinity is released into the world. It has to be a temporary channel, though, a thing that is sealed afterward, because the gates stink of knowledge, they cannot be left swinging wide like a slack mouth, leaking mindlessly. That would contaminate the human world--bodies are not meant to remember things from the other side. But these are gods and they move like heated water, so the rules are softened and stretched. The gods do not care. It is not them, after all, that will pay the cost.”
Akwaeke Emezi, Freshwater
“I have lived many lives inside this body. I lived many lives before they put me in this body. I will live many lives when they take me out of it.”
Akwaeke Emezi, Freshwater
“But it is only a fool who does not know that freedom is paid for in old clotted blood, in fresh reapings of it, in renewed scarifications.”
Akwaeke Emezi, Freshwater
“We wish she had saved it, but that is how humans are. Important things slip past in the moment, when it feels sharp and they are young enough to think that the feeling will remain.”
Akwaeke Emezi, Freshwater
“Open gates are like sores that can’t stop grieving: they infect with space, gaps, widenings. Room”
Akwaeke Emezi, Freshwater
“When you break something, you must study the pattern of the shattering before you can piece it back together.”
Akwaeke Emezi, Freshwater
“We're afraid for you, they said. It's like you're on this thin line between being alive and being dead, like one small shift could send you either direction”
Akwaeke Emezi, Freshwater
“Let me tell you the truth about men like that--they want soft moons. They want women with just enough crescent to provide a sufficient edge, tender little slivers of light that they can bring home to their mothers.”
Akwaeke Emezi, Freshwater
“The gods do not care. It is not them, after all, that will pay the cost.”
Akwaeke Emezi, Freshwater
tags: cost, gods
“It is like we said: when gods awaken in you, sometimes you carve yourself up to satisfy them.”
Akwaeke Emezi, Freshwater
“He loves them as a god does, which is to say, with a taste for suffering.”
Akwaeke Emezi, Freshwater
“They just listened to music and talked about their childhoods, and it was all nice and innocent if you forget that they were humans who had hearts.”
Akwaeke Emezi, Freshwater
“Look, I was a hungry shade, nothing more. I latched onto the men, and their energy felt like sticky fruit sliding between my fingers. and when we were done, I was still hungry. And after the next time. I was still hungry. And after the one after that one, I was still hungry. I would have drowned them all. I would have inched slowly over their bodies, dipped my fingers inside their throats and ripped out sounds. I filled their bed with secrets. Ada was right- I found pleasure in evil. I did many things in hunger that could be misconstrued.”
Akwaeke Emezi, Freshwater
“I had arrived, flesh from flesh, true blood from true blood. I was the wildness under the skin, the skin into a weapon, the weapon over the flesh.”
Akwaeke Emezi, Freshwater
“It's basically the same thing, she said. I didn't have anyone to hold me and now I don't have anyone to kill me. You'd think he's come through on at least one of these points.”
Akwaeke Emezi, Freshwater

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