Sometimes, when it’s bitterly cold, freezing outside
and there are piles of snow, and the air is dry,
the kind of air that gives you chapped lips,
the edges of the mountains of dirty snow,
I mean just the ice at the edges,
turns to vapor without ever bothering being liquid.

Is the vapor lucky? It can move with the whim of the breeze,
and the dirt, the muck that it mixed with as ice is left earthbound.

Being water first, that gets messy,
and boy, does that grime get mixed in. Seems like it’ll never
break free. Some gets pulled into the earth, sucked up by
the greedy seed pods, some drips down into the sewer.
Some lucky droplets do evaporate, straight away.

Sometimes, when it’s cold at night, freezing,
the water vapor remembers being solid.
It coats the windshield of your car
and becomes frost. The vapor, now ice,
longs for a chance to melt as you turn on your defroster,
and, for a time, be water.