Sublimation

     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: chelseadingman.com.