Lines Written in an Abandoned Cathedral Near the Sea

by Louis E. Bourgeois

You are older than you ever imagined—
there is no song to sing you to sleep.

All day long, I have circled the cemetery,
have caressed the granite walls,
and drowned in her memory.

There was an ocean and a wave,
and then nothing.

Finally, I saw the sky
for the first time,
and knew I was home.

In the red of red,
in the blue of blue,
you will not find God here.

There is so little to dying,
it’s a wonder we bother at all.

I have seen stone and fish
fall from the sky,
when the night was quiet
as moth wings.

Nothing can frighten us more
than chancing to see our face
in the mirror by moonlight.

Think of nothing
but the large birds
feeding on the shore.

Louis E. Bourgeois teaches writing and philosophy at the University of Mississippi in Oxford. His memoir, The Gar Diaries, was nominated for the National Book Award in 2008. Bourgeois is also the founder and editor of VOX PRESS.

Back to Issue Two: Winter 2009