by Lydia Wei

“Y’know, you oughta get home,” he said, turning back towards the scythed mountains, coulees flowing terribly, beautifully, with gold sediment, diamonds of his sun-flecked hair. That summer I had fallen in love. A warm chinook blew down from the Rockies, rustling his starched shirt, and he pointed towards the clouds hammered above the scree. Though I’ve never understood love, not even now, it passed through that year—uneventfully, too quietly, whetting a blunt blade. He took one last look at me: “Well?” “Well what?” I said. I wouldn’t look at him then, studying instead the mare’s withers, the fraying saddle, lattice-work of loose threads from years of tanning out in the sun. Soon it would be threadbare, worn. I don’t remember the color of his eyes anymore; only brown leather, rough goods. Shaking his head, he took the reins; horse trotting past the sere grass, hooves pressed in dust—“All I’m saying is, looks like a storm’s comin.”