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