Wadi

The bed or valley of a stream in regions of southwestern Asia and northern Africa that is usually dry except during the rainy season and that often forms an oasis. Or, more generally, a shallow usually sharply defined depression in a desert region.

From the story “Actors” in the collection Dictation by Cynthia Ozick, page 62.

And Lionel had a comfortingly aging face, with a firm deep wadi slashed across his forehead, and a wen hidden in one eyebrow.

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