by JP Davies
In the mariners’ church,
those dredged from the sea
laid out like fresh catch.
Identified by candlelight,
dried foam at their mouth,
the sea changed them.
Carried to the limits of water,
the waves rescinded their promise,
leaving them white as whalebone;
naked, seeing lastly
the ultramarine world
they occupied completely.
Ship impossibly stalled overhead,
skulking like some legendary creature
in the reachless dropdown light.
Below, the bones,
wrack and sump
of those never recovered;
while the fortunate ones
lay patiently in the drowned room,
waiting to be given back their names.
Published in 'QU Literary Magazine'