Because in the end you can't always choose what to keep. You can only choose how to let it go.

Close your eyes, I say to Ky, and I bend down, his breathing above me while he waits. There, I say, and he looks at what I've written. I love you.

There is something extraordinary about the first time falling.

If a graveyard floods, nothing is lost that wasn't already gone.

I will be strong enough to go without the tablet. But there are other things I'm not strong enough to go without, and I intend to fight for them.

Cassia doesn't like to sort people. I'm all too good at it and I worry I'll grow to like it too much.It's a talent.[...]And all it takes is a misstep or two for that talent to become a liability instead of an asset.

Forgetting lets you live without the pain for a moment but remembering hits hard.

Which one is the true one, I don't ask, they don't tell.

Ky leans toward me, his eyes holding mine, near enough that I can hear the slight crackle of the poem as he moves. I close my eyes as his lips touch warm on my cheek. I think of the cottonwood seeds brushing against me that day on the air train. Soft, light, full of promise.

Hearing it, I wonder how I could have ever thought that the birdcall I heard earlier sounded anything like the Officer's whistle.

These branches will be my bones, I thought, and the paper will be my heart and skin, the places that feel everything.

In a story, you can turn to the front and begin again and everyone lives once more. That doesn't work in real life. And I love my real people the most. Bram. My mother. My father. Ky. Xander. Can.

Reading the situation correctly is part of getting through it safely.

The snow melted before they could make a footprint in it. Their lives ended before they even knew what they could be.

Ky's story, bit by bit, is turning to ash and nothing. Except. He remembers it, and now I do, too.

I keep telling myself that, and most of the time I believe it.

Ky watches me with that look in his eyes, the one sad and full of love at the same time, the one he gives me when he knows something I don't, something he thinks has been stolen from me.

Go fast when I want and slow when I want.

It's nice, isn't it... to be part of something greater than yourself.

Who am I to try to change things, to get greedy and want more? If our Society changes and things are different, who am I to tell the girl who would have enjoyed the safe protected life that now she has to have choice and danger because of me?

And I realize that I can never stay in these hollowed-out places in the earth for long before I have to come up for air.

I wish I could have one without the other, but that's the problem with being alive. You don't usually get to choose the measure of suffering or the degree of joy you have.

Luck is not a word the Society encourages. And it's not something we have much of out here.

You can take it but it will always be mine.

But now I feel like finding out about him is one of the ways I find out about myself. I did not expect to love his words. I did not expect to find myself in them.

I have tried to be righteous all my life. Yet I have never been content.

When thigs liek this happen-when what was meant to help results in harm, whenn salve brings pain instead of healing- it is clear how wrong even choices intended to be right can become.

It doesn't have many roots,' I say. 'Not yet,' she says. 'That will come.

There's nothing like reading about a world that feels dead to throw your own beautiful, colorful life into sharp relief.

It's a strange feeling, I thought, like my bones are walking along with me on the outside of my body.

Because either way, whichever life I build, has to be built on truth.

Somewhere above us the sky seeps rain and I think of snow falling. Pictures painted with water. Poetry breathed between kisses. Too beautiful to last.

Everyone dies. The don't all have the chance to see what they wanted most. At least I've seen the Above. At least I've known True.

Once you see something big, you can't help seeing it in everything small.

Blue is the most common eye color in Oria Province, but there is something different about his eyes and I'm not sure what it is. More depth? I wonder what he sees when he looks at me. If he seems to have depth to me, do I seem shallow and transparent to him?

He didn't have any words for me. Why should I give him any of mine?

Much as I love looking at the stars, I never learned to guide by them. I mark my course by people.

You walked through the Carving to find me, I tell Cassia softly. I'm going to walk through this to reach you. Cassia.

Good-byes are like this. You can't always mark them well at the moment of separation—no matter how deep they cut.

Long ago people used to say what they wanted out loud and hope that someone would give it to them. They called it praying.

I think I'm looking at one of the air ships the farmers tried to take down.

We must have been thirteen or so, and we were both in love with Cassia.

He has traveled through canyons of his own and come through changed.

The stars have come to the earth, and the ocean has turned over the ground; dark waves meet the sky.

In a story, you can turn to the front and being again and everyone lives once more.

Some things will remain valuable no matter who is in charge.

And even in my panic, I hear the music in his deep voice, the sounds of singing. I close my eyes, imagining my breath is his own, that he is with me.

Except. He remembers it, and now I do, too.

At the same time I hear a word so soft and quiet I wonder if he said it up on the hill and the wind has just now carried it down to me.