Trail running. Jangsan Mountain. Night.
Up the pine tree forests.
Then soldiers on the road.
Out of the innocent shadow. Crouching and smoking.
I light them up with my torch not knowing they don’t want to be seen.
Lit up they recede like creatures that can only hold power in the night.
I turn off my light.
Helmet cat eyes shinning.
Cigarette ambers floating and then flaring up with the breath of new life.
I turn around slowly. I run back home pretending I saw neither war nor warriors.
Then I hear them chanting or laughing or crying.
They are waiting for the things that only exist in the dark.
Little soldiers with ambitious imaginations.
Orange lights deep in the forest.
Smells of meat.
A cauldron boiling slowly.
Dogs bark then silence again.
A running stream and the wind in the trees.
A lone bird cries, intermittently. Singing in morse code.
Folkloric creatures and curious soldiers watch me
while I make my way down to Busan.