My dad says if you knew what a bullet did to a body after it entered the skin, you’d never pick up another gun.

Highway 70, Psychic

People don’t come to a psychic because they want to know the truth. They don’t even come to a psychic because they want to know the future. They come because they want to be listened to.

East Pettigrew Street

You didn’t know it then, but you made me to tell a singular story of this land and I am telling it: we are all, all of us, mad and solemn and desperate in our insistence on being here at all.

Red & White

 I was still thinking about the meat ... the pink glistening packages of pork shoulder and flank steak, the chicken livers shining like wet rubies, the earthy texture of the ground beef, like furrows in red dirt.

Trinity United Methodist Church

... the man had smiled down at him. “Merry Christmas,” the man said. His voice had been deep and rich as the man who sang his grandmother’s favorite Christmas song, the one about silver bells and Christmastime in the city.

Geer Street, Chimney Swifts

James used to wonder where to find his group of swifts– a group of creatures who, like him and his mother, did not settle in one place, but traveled from one to the next, clinging with whatever weight they had to whatever small space they could claim.

Pine State Electric

"There are crystal chandeliers, linen drum lanterns, wrought iron sconces – all of them burning with different levels of intensity. Some white-hot, some soft yellow, some a deeper glow that borders on auburn. 'Who turns them all on?' wonders Carli."

Northgate Park

"The artist's grief was untouchable but still knowable, somehow, and the winter branches of the trees seemed imbued with the simple promise of life." 

Window Co. (North Roxboro Road)

Charlie always said to people worried about bad luck that a piece of glass is not a mirror, even if it sometimes serves as one. And a son is the same as his father, though their reflections may be similar, and though they may cast a similar shadow.

North Carolina State Fair

Other things not to look to closely at: the largest pig or the smallest woman in the world, the trash cans, the bunny barn. I would not recommend the bunny barn at all, in fact, unless you like being stared at by billions of red beady eyes.

Durham County Detention Facility

Freedom is being able to just turn your back, to just walk away -  maybe pulling a cigarette out of your pocket as you go, lighting it so the smoke drifts back behind you. That last part would be sort of a bonus. But being able to walk away, yeah. That'd be enough for me.