"Nurses too became shell-shocked from the dying around them. Or from something as small as a letter. They would carry a severed arm down a hall, or swab at blood that never stopped, as if the wound were a well, and they began to believe in nothing, trusted nothing. They broke the way a man dismantling a mine broke the second his geography exploded" (41).
"his fingers slipped into her white hand, and when she bent forward to him he put his dark fingers into her hair and felt it cool within the valley of his fingers" (42).
"... lay his bandaged hand on her shoulder. She did not stop shaking. The deepest sorrow, he thought. Where the only way to survive is to excavate everything" (44).
"'He is a saint. I think. A despairing saint. Are there such things? Our desire is to protect them'
'A twenty-year-old who throws herself out of the world to love a ghost!'
Caravaggio paused. 'You have to protect yourself from sadness. Sadness is very close to hate. Let me tell you this. This is the thing I learned. If you take in someone else's poison--thinking you can cure them by sharing it--you will instead store it within you. Those men in the desert were smarter than you. They assumed he could be useful. So they saved him, but when he was no longer useful they left him'" (45).
"I am a man who fasts until I see what I want" (235,258).