Louis Bourgeois  

Lines Written in an Abandoned Cathedral Near the Sea

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 Bourgeois is the Executive Director of VOX PRESS, a 501 (c) 3 arts education group based in Oxford, Mississippi. Bourgeois also serves as Director and Instructor for the Prison Writes Institute, the only liberal arts program offered to Mississippi inmates.