Backpacking in Oregon #18

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A beach scene on a sleeping pad, sand still in her shoes from the trip before.

We sit & lay on opposite sides of winter drinking rose from a space bag.

Back in the city, a neglected fern dies on the windowsill.

The empire still feels like a punch to the stomach.

Who will carry me back home after this hike?

I stare at my screen for too long in the dewy morning & I am crying.

Like I’ve stumbled into a bar bathroom and someone inside forgot to lock the door.

We make eye contact, waiting for the power to die.

I want to feel glimpses of you again, skip everything in between.

Your tattoo will appear on my calf after you’re back on the East Coast.

California isn’t that far away.

The firs sway in dialogue, the snow runs.

Our romance, a shared office building, art nouveau furniture and the smell right after a sneeze.

Mount Hood behind us.

I don’t think we should travel together.

The snow silent car ride through Barlow Pass.

I go back to work.

You throw everything I’ve left in the trash & I really respect that.

This article was originally published in RANGE Zine Issue Six.

Julian Smuggles