A student once wrote that she had
Even as I circled it in red
and wrote the right words
I felt like correcting it was wrong,
and a vision emerged.
I see this self-of-steam
as a different version of her
and her words not a mistake
but a revelation.
She is describing herself, amorphous,
a vapor caught between window panes.
Here, her steam is billowing out thin,
hiding and revealing what is around her and within.
There, swirling to thickness
protecting the parts of her
too wrong, too tender, too strange,
to be revealed.
Like steam, like hours, like days
this self would be ever fading, burning away;
to be revealed again on cool mornings,
mist in the valley,
sun hinted orange in clouds before its rise.
Her self reforming,
trying again to make something
that is lasting, that is real, that can say:
This is me.