WORDS FREQUENTLY CONFUSED: CONDENSATION, EVAPORATION
Even the fog this morning plays the field,
the dips in the road, like the special effects
of early cinematography: faint white ether
in the shape of an actor crouched above
a body of snow, as if the soul were nothing more
than forms of water assuming different roles
—steam, lake, scotch-on-the-rocks—solid
at times, liquid or gas at others, which is
exactly what I am passing through at times,
as if matter didn’t matter, as if the pulsing
thwap . . . thwap . . . thwap in my ears is nothing
more than the sound of ice melting off the roof
and splattering with unconscionable regularity
on the vinyl-clad sill of a replacement window.
Phillip Sterling is the author of the poetry collection And Then Snow and Mutual Shores, a collection of short fiction, In Which Brief Stories Are Told, and four poetry chapbooks: Significant Others; Quatrains; Abeyance; And for All This: Poems from Isle Royale. He has served as Artist-in-Residence for both Isle Royale National park and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.