Special Guides » The Poetry Issue

My father, who art in heaven,

by

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give me this day a single sound.
I kneel and close my eyes as if to pray
and extend my fingers into rough carpet knots
so I will not forget my body
when I wander toward your distant spirit.

People in my building murmur outside my door.
The refrigerator buzzes, the thermostat orders the fans,
the house creaks from cold. These sounds
are easier than your silence.

Where were you when I was a child,
cowering in my room while my mother screamed outside?
I learned early what love was: loud words,
so why did you say no words at all?

Oh hollow man, thy will was done
on my earth without a sound from heaven.
Lead me not into temptation
of forgiveness.