Wreck


If a shell spirals an ocean, its alpine absence
hums a glacial cool beyond atmosphere, what the earthbound

imagine of space, silence of ice and pale,
dwarfed flowers. The mountain goats' drift dissolves

the spine of bleached boulders scattered
above timberline--a glacier's remnant

skates the road, shelf of winter skin melted to expose
an absurd skeleton, frameless tiers

of broken rock, dark
wrecked earth. (Out of place, a pair of crows hunch

ebony on white horse hair, music of the physical world
orphaned on air--)

When she flew from the steel body's side her life echoed
a bird's, overtones vibrated one

clear second and then this life
camouflaged as music peeled back and something

accordioned inside sang out, boned staff of notes matching
the stones, exactly matching, nothing

to mute the bridge, the penultimate note
beautiful in its altitude--Stunned clean of vibrato, marmots

shot into caves, nothing perfect
in remains, in the one note's flatline, shell emptied beyond

oceans, music.


Sandra Meek is an assistant professor of English at Berry College, where she teaches creative writing and contemporary literature. She served as a Peace Corps volunteer, in Manyana, Botswana, from 1989-1991, and she received an M.F.A. from Colorado State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Denver. Her poems have appeared in The Iowa Review, The Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, Conjunctions, Quarterly West, and many other journals, as well as on the web site Poetry Daily. Her chapbook, The Circumference of Arrival, was published by Elixir Press in 2001. Nomadic Foundations, a book of poems largely based upon her Peace Corps experience, was released by Elixir Press in March 2002.