Sunken Cathedral

by Angela Bilger


Half the night I dream seaward

in search of resurrection, but find only sinking:

gargoyles and martyrs descend, transepts

and towers fill with brine, great mouths of bells

gulp, clappers slow under the blue-green

undulations. I exist under weight of water as if

I belong. The riven seabed holds me.

Brokenness is not new to the earth, nor to any

cruciform body of flesh or stone.

In the faith of my childhood, I was baptized

by immersion—buried with Him in baptism,

raised to walk in newness of life. But some things

cannot be buried, only carried.

Seaweed now adorns the saints

and evangelists, coral polyps construct skeletons

on the altar, algae float free in the nave.

I start my ascent upward, coastward, the sacrament

always incomplete, always beginning.

The bells toll toward silence

and out of silence, again.

Originally from Jacksonville, Florida, ANGELA BILGER is a classical musician living in the Philadelphia area with her husband and son. Her work has been published in Mid-American Review, Raleigh Review, The Christian Century, Letters Journal, the minnesota review, Dappled Things, and Rust+Moth.

Photo: “underwater clouds” by Markolf Zimmer