We spent that first summer together
hiking and camping, pitching our tent
on the smooth ground, gathering wood
for our evening fire. We drank beer
chilled in the stream, hiked ten
miles each day. I knew you camped
with her six months before, hiked
deep into the woods, packs on your backs,
ate by the campfire, fucked under
the full moon. You mentioned only
the hike, made vague references
to camping in this same area. You didn’t
need to speak her name to breathe her
into existence. She clung to your back-
pack, still darkened your skin like a tan-line.
All summer she haunted us, the ghost
story told by the campfire, her shadow
dancing in the smoke.


Photo Credit: anderson2011101 Flickr via Compfight cc

Courtney LeBlanc

Courtney LeBlanc is the author of Beautiful & Full of Monsters (forthcoming from Vegetarian Alcoholic Press), chapbooks All in the Family (Bottlecap Press) and The Violence Within (Flutter Press), and a Pushcart Prize nominee. She has her MBA from University of Baltimore and her MFA from Queens University of Charlotte. She loves nail polish, wine, and tattoos. Read her publications on her blog: Follow her on twitter: @wordperv, and IG: @wordperv79.

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