The Fright of Jules Verne

At the altar a diving bell clangs
The broken seabed of marble gangs
Bares its pillars set stone in sand
That tonnes of pressure and weighing hands
Buried dark in the silent deep
In hell-sized holes dug with sailors’ teeth

And under them, muted scales of rust
The honeycombed bones, and the sunken bust
Of an echo, a broken shell throne
A well-spring of tears whence the ocean did grow

Shine the torch and hear her song
But see no mouth, no eyes sidelong
With fevered tugs signal “ascend”
Leave these shadows, but ware the bends

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