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The Roof Slants, So the Water Pours This Way

A poem

Published on:
February 11, 2021
Read time:
1 min.
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Do you think the world 
might share a common, secret grief
for which we have no words -
as if each patch of lichen, every dog, 
and even the black cormorants
who roll their long dives 
all know the bald ache 
we swallow? 

Do you think we all go 
from same evenings to 
same mornings? Sleepwalkers. 
Sighing drunks. As if we’ll know the face
to rouse us only as it passes,
stalking back to where this started, 
we apes with steeple fingers, 
we who pray in roe and semen,
we composers of the bone-hymn 
by those little swirling tidepools 
on the coast?

Paul J. Pastor
Paul J. Pastor is an award-winning writer, an editor with Penguin Random House, and the author of  several books, including The Face of the Deep (David C. Cook), The Listening Day (Zeal Books), and Palau: A Life on Fire (Zondervan). This poem is from his poetry collection, Bower Lodge, forthcoming from Fernwood Press. He lives in a ghost town near Portland, Oregon. Find out more at www.pauljpastor.com and follow him on Twitter @pauljpastor.

Cover image by Marcus Löfvenberg

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