Riding toward the lake

I see them: a mermaid,
A centaur, a dragon,
A seal. Suddenly all
Shapes are mythical,
Twisting out of the steam
Like creatures being born.
Where are they going,
I wonder, as they dissolve
Into the achingly cold air.
Passing through our world
To another? In the summer,
Are they the clouds that
Children see? I spy a teddy
Bear, a train, a potato. In
The desert, are they the
Mirage of blue and green,
Leading travelers to their
Death? Do these creatures
Of smoke even know of
‘good’ and ‘evil’? Or are
They simply indifferent
Shapes of vapor, unable
To comprehend us, as we
Cannot fathom them…
Except in dreams, or on
An exercise bicycle on
A cold January morning.

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