On the eve of the eclipse,
she slept with her head downhill,
and woke to the sound of woodpeckers chiseling their faces into the forest,
and, when she rose to look for them, she found, instead,
a green plump grasshopper, which she showed to another camper,
through the thin screen of his tent, with a smile.
For the first time, she took in the campsite:
a dozen clear pods rose up from the ground with sleeping bags and sleeping bodies inside.
One man lay on a low cot in the open air like a silent offering to a distracted god.
The trees rose high above the grounds, unreachable limbs framing the scene with a gentle grandeur.
She found her keys sitting obediently on the front seat of her unlocked car, and retrieved her worldly things.
Regarding the portable toilet warily from a distance, she squatted to pee on the forest floor,
and saw a shiny red on the inside of the fabric of her underwear.
The same moon that would block today’s sun had taken the time to summon her tide.
She smiled at the endless bounty this day had already brought her, before she’d uttered a single word,
and returned to the tent with the notebook she had once given herself, and a pen, to write about the magic of the day.
There, she returned to her sloping recline, slipping beside the bodies of her friend and Luca the dog,
and as she lifted the pages above her to write, she caught sight of an identical version of the book she held in her hands floating just out of reach,
the notebook she had once given her friend, suspended from the top of the tent in a pouch.
And the trees crowned the sky above her and the stars shone without being seen. Shielded, for now, by the light of the uninterrupted sun.
written in the Shawnee National Forest