a conversation between the ship builder of the HMS Terror
and the HMS Terror
after the shipwreck is found
168 years later.
(jewel) crusted hull, (brown sugar)crumbling at each touch, you are the lazy-day
kitchen kind of yellow, i gave you a name to scare the dogs away, they say
so silent under the ice that,
if it weren't for those machines, those great big whirling radar guns pointed at your neck, you'd have never set foot (96ft x 54ft, to be exact)
back on this snow. they show me pictures of you
suspended, eerily green and barnacled as something that
no longer has any use might become but
i loved each splinter, you were the best thing
i'd ever done.
i remember you chestnut, golden, young,
arm thrown over your eyes from the sun, i remember
you with a long cigarette telling me that
the ocean is so terrifying because it is cold.
i disagreed, said
the ocean is so terrifying because it is quiet, that i regretted
the parts of me that built you to face it. you said
do you have any idea the kinds of wars i have won?
you were found in less than 70 feet of water, your mast
peeking from the ice like a stray toe from the bed sheet,
they said that if we were to dredge you up,
siphon away decades of freezing salt,
get your skin in the sun again,
you might still float.
so i guess that means
i did a good job.