“No one is judging you, hon. Least of all me. That’s all I’m saying.”

Stella looked at her. Her thoughts competed with one another, her feelings, the desire that remained caged and simultaneously managed to run rampant until Zeke backed her into a stall, or the tack room – “He takes,” she said to Cynthia, her eyes on him and Libby; when he was with the horse, he was all give. Everything in his body, his hands, sang of rhythmic elasticity. The low sun pulled brightness out of the Gypsy mare’s shining white patches, and threw the dark ones into inky contrast. Her combed mane and tail and feathers flowed like ribbons, or water. She completely drew the eye away from Zeke’s flannel and blue jeans and dull scuffed cowboy boots. She was porcelain. He was dusty.

“I would imagine. But you like it?”

Stella shrugged. “Yeah, it’s good. It’s release.”

“But it’s not entirely you, is it?”


~Stella (a working title)

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