We exhale into the canyon, grateful
for the downhill, for the promise of a campsite one bend
away. An hour later, out of breath and heaving
we start the actual decent.
We arrive to a steady stream, and a quiet
campsite, just us and the birds, the threat
of bear, always somewhere nearby. We
eat anyways, have a fire, and I finish
a book about going insane in nature, because
of man, and then as twilight arrives, we fall
asleep under the easy orange sweep of our tent,
and wake at 2 AM, to screams, angry
or joyous, I’m not sure.
You grab the bear spray
and sit upright, they settle slowly
around us with loud voices and feet.
People, at least 8, a little drunk maybe, setting
up camp in the dark, a few feet away.
We fall asleep again eventually and wake to
silence, an empty campground again
a little more litter filled than it was,
when we went to sleep.