How short life must be, if something so fragile can last a lifetime.
I read the quote without context and thought that the word "something" referred to life. Quiet explosion in the head.
It actually refers to a young woman's body. But I'm going to keep my mistaken idea. It's not true to the intention of the author, but it's true all the same.
I read it in Clive James' Cultural Amnesia, a resuscitation of real humanism.