Ron Paul Salutsky: "Camping"




We wound down a mountain in the mountain wind

thick as sweetgum sap


through white pines waving

hello or goodbye or good riddance


we couldn’t tell.  We camped near a stream

because I thought we’d be safest near water,


in case we got thirsty or dirty or needed

to be born again in a pinch


near water would be the best place to be.

Past midnight we coaxed some heat


from ashen embers and crawled

into the tent as the crickets warmed


their acoustical sails

and the waxing moon loomed low


yet in the pines.  The light

shone on your naked shoulders


of the galaxy’s starry claws through

the no-see-um mesh,


the airy wilderness kissing us

with the indescribable pleasure of pleasure,


nothing more than Tennessee revolving

around our slovenly island, our mauve oddity


among the trees, and suddenly the crickets’ calling songs

weren’t so intrusive but rather comforting


in the darkness the frail light of our lantern nudged against. 



Ron Paul Salutsky holds an MFA in Creative Writing International from University of Las Vegas, Nevada, and his work has appeared in Verse Daily, Shampoo, Asheville Poetry Review, Colorado Review, and Louisville Review, among others. He is currently attending the PhD program in Creative Writing at Florida State University.