It was eventide over their heads, like old bourbon in a brandy glass, straight up. They came shyly as mosquitoes near still water, their flashlights adrift over dark girls in secret boxes. Their nights belonged to the wind.

The lake loved Sarah in secret. In her canoe, she was an enigma from the shore, carved twenty-odd years ago from the memory of a young girl sleeping beneath the inward sky. Her left hand covered her forehead. The fingernails were black and white. Her right hand rested shadowless in the lake. Her eyes were wide open but closed to the lurkers behind dawn’s door.

The south wind scampered ghosts across a lonely spider’s web. Delicate creatures fell wild on Sarah’s forehead and asked to see her brain; there was no tomb to rise dead from … no apples to bleed from … no dragon to claim as her own.

Her old man limped away. He stumbled to a blind horse amidst last year’s horses. He had been drinking again. Drunk horses left green droppings in blue patches of crab grass, but her old man paid no mind. He staggered home as quiet as the evening … as quiet as the dark girls at rest in the black earth of silence.