Kristin Abraham



A Stranger Rides into Town

The day when everything stopped meaning was just as abrupt as any other day, but shot through with hopes that this would be the end. Instead, mottled, blue-black Time perched a little longer, and Worry kicked its feet—one, then the other—in the sand. The girls finally slept, stopped turning their hair in their hands; the boys stopped looking at the sky. We stared at each other dumbly, toe-stubbingly quiet, then let our eyes wander to nowhere, water, and back. We looked at the smudges our hands left on white doors, let go our rabbity heartbeats. Men ride into town all the time, but sometimes a whimper can sound like a bang.