forget the malleability of flesh

‘twas brave, the woman
who wandered up a winding path of
crispy leaves
toward a glowing distant peak.
and as her gaze
took in the lowering
of the sun she felt a shiver scuttle
up her spine, not
for fear of darkness or
of solitude,
but for the unrelenting cold that creeps
with dusk’s farewell
into her bones and lingers
long past dawn, a thorough chill
in which she steeps until-
forgetting
the malleability of flesh, the stinging tingle
that accompanies heat-
she neglects to move at all,
and curls instead into a ball
at the foot of a quaking aspen tree,
where she sinks into
the wilderness;
forever alone and finally free.

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