Camping

Campfires aren’t allowed here
So I’m huddled beside a tiny stove
A single blue flame for warmth, a headlamp for light,
And the black wall of a wild forest
Like a wave waiting to crash over me.
I cannot reason my mind away from fear—
The silence is not an absence of danger,
But an assurance that it’s already seen me
Smelled my sweat, the freeze-dried Pad-Thai I made for dinner
Is waiting for me to stop staring at the woods
Let my guard down.
My tent is ready for me
A millimeter of nylon to protect from the night terror
Which is, of course, not enough—
That’s why I put the rain fly on, too.

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