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Self of Steam

         mondegreen from a student paper


When thoughts stack up like cinderblock
unfurl your self of steam
which rises over grit and gray and rock

and climbs with rolling waft the slope
of hopelessness you seem
bound to languish on. Inhale, arise, elope

with this twin self. When gate and lock
keep out the warming dream
and echo as they slam and bolt, and mock

your cache of ifs till you can't even cope
with whens, your self of steam
is there to lift your heart and grope

through silty, disbelief-encrusted mire
and, loosening your fibers, ream
the long-clogged conduits of pure desire.

Open your windows, let in the mists
of uncertainty. Unbend the beam
of light of all you know of what exists,

bemused, unpent, bestride your self of steam!


J. Allyn Rosser

The Hudson Review

Winter 2018


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