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Chelsea Dingman

Nothing becomes of ice now, except water

vapor. Children in bright coats play

at the corners of a prayer. The end of faith:

skipping one phase of being to enter 

another. Children woven from want.

Becoming snowfields. I rise & walk

out onto the frozen field. Snow

emits a hush as it falls. Then, silence.

The hares, scarce in this cold. 

I am trying to find myself inside

my body. Relentless, the hoarfrost.

There was a time when a family

was all I had. But the deer

my father shot down in the woods

wouldn’t feed us for a whole winter.

My brother, turning to fog as he failed

to eat. In a cryosphere, specific pressure

systems allow us to cry. For tears

not to freeze before they fall.  Last night, 

I dreamt our father lived inside

my brother. Secret bloom. The heart

of a phenomena. A deer arrived

as though sensing their hunger. Ice

fields trapped by fog. When I woke, 

the fog had become the field. Ice

breaking in the shadow of a deer. 

Chelsea Dingman’s first book, Thaw, was chosen by Allison Joseph to win the National Poetry Series (University of Georgia Press, 2017). Her second poetry collection, Through a Small Ghost, won The Georgia Poetry Prize (University of Georgia Press, 2020). She is also the author of the chapbook, What Bodies Have I Moved (Madhouse Press, 2018). Visit her website:

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