Once there was a city where people did not look one another in the eye. It had been that way for as long as anyone could remember. Old married couples lowered their heads like swans as they sat on park benches together. Young mothers stared sweetly at the folds of their babies' necks. Whenever two people met in conversation, each would rest his gaze on the blank surface of the other's shirt, and though occasionally, in a fit of daring, the most intimate of lovers might go so far as to watch each other's lips move, to venture any higher was considered the gravest of social transgressions.
The stories are all beautiful and haunting. I would reread this on a chilly fall night with an afghan over my feet and a cup of tea on the table. Or I would curl up in bed with a lover and read him one story a night before we laid down to sleep. However you read them, they each deserve a moment of quiet consideration before you allow your mind to gallop on to other matters.