Meridian with a Resurrected Wreck


By Nicole Olweean

What do you want to know?

If you ever learned the meaning of a glass camera on a windowsill, of the pine tree’s scraping song.

The camera sees the world through its own skin, but that is not why it breaks. It breaks because it is only glass.

And the pine tree?

I found a half-drowned ship gurgling like a grounded trout. Turned-out angels peered from the cannon-holes, told me the masts still hated the thing that built them, though the bow and the stern did not. When I offered to kill the carpenter, they shook their heads, said not to fear the creator, but what drives him. 

What drove the carpenter?

Longing, and a blue star west of Venus.

Why did you come?

I found a forest over the next hill, asked it to forgive me each thread of bark I broke. I stacked the planks, crooked teeth in the shoreline’s yawn, and began to cover the holes.

Why did you come?

My hands bled.

You deserved it.

The angels watched, but never helped. They said to resurrect a wreck was to create a ghost.

What drove you?

When I was finished, I pushed it into the sea. The masts recognized my hand on the helm.

And the pine tree?

The pine tree knows it will be the ship, knows that life fits into death the way breath fits into a word. It learns from the cardinal, red thread among needles, that no one has a map of the stars, that the only way to know which direction is before you is to keep an eye on the earth.


Originally from Michigan, Nicole Olweean is currently pursuing an MFA in poetry at the University of California at Riverside. Her work has appeared in Menacing Hedge.