‘You’re the only one who can still make me cry,’
said my wife from the side of the road. No tears on her face. Lusine reached up and held her fingers against my cheek. She lay in my lap. Under a sky that looked how it looked when I remembered us young and new.
‘No one makes me sad like you do,’
I wept and nothing fell from my eyes. I was dry under the sun. We’d all been dry.
Lusine said, urging me on. Her brittle hands pushed against my chest. She shook her head and closed her eyes.
she said again. Her hands found their way into mine. She felt like paper, and I’m sure I felt the same. Ready to disintegrate.
I lifted my head, looking on. All I saw were feet, shoes, boots. On and on. Achingly slow. Moving forward. Beating their way through the dust and rocks. The shadows of horses holding men holding daggers and fire. Men who had given themselves over to something. Without questioning why. Without questioning themselves. They were hollow men on horses.
A shot filled the sky, and a grey-haired man fell from the march. He was left on the ground. I heard women screaming. More shots.
‘Promise you’ll take me to town, again,’
Lusine smiled. Her eyes were open and she stared past me. I touched the hair escaping her kerchief before removing the cloth.
Her hair moved with the wind. Strands touched the ground, collecting dust and dirt. I brushed my hand along the waves of auburn.
‘Tonight, we’ll go,’
I promised. Every part of me that was alive I could feel dying. I had never felt such a sensation. I leaned down and rested my head upon Lusine’s.
‘Maybe we can see the moon,’
‘on the river, later.’
I could barely hear her.
‘Tonight. I promise,’
I told her. I kissed her forehead. She squeezed my hand.
The shadow of a horse and beast covered us.
I held the streams of her hair last.