Today's NY Times word of the day is extenuate. It's a great word, and I'm having a good time contemplating all of the different approaches one could take to the idea.
In the most common light of mid-morning, he said to her, breathtaking. For a moment, it was as if she was looking sideways at a mirror inside of a mirror, and the hallway of her own lung capacity was endless. She could see the translucent wings of a dragonfly; she could even hear them; she could even feel them vibrating like ambivalence on her throat. She thought about the eye in a jar, how it was so far removed from his heart, how she helped them snip each muscle until they scooped it out. There it sat, on the table, waiting for her.
So he said it again, breathtaking, this time without a break in his voice, and he might have been talking about the architecture or the spreadsheet or the hint of grey that had entered the atmosphere in what was previously the most common light of mid-morning. But he was looking at her. She was thinking about the brushstrokes, how she would have painted this moment, how the light would have been brighter, how it might have smelled as it does moments before the snow falls. How the eyeball had been sent, as it always is, for testing at the lab, and how soon, when we get the results, we will know everything we need to know.