the waters recede and the temples emerge
belfries choked with weeds and fish
staircases cracked by the weight of waves.
the men descend into the new valley
wearing waist-high boots and rubber gloves.
hours later, they emerge, armed with tales
of stone altars livid with confused sea urchins
octopi sprawled comfortably on massive thrones
black pits leading to dungeons filled with seawater
the eyeless head of a statue long fallen into ruin.