Joseph had never seen such a sky, although old men often spoke of portents in the skies that attested to the power of God, rainbows that covered half the celestial vault, towering ladders that connected heaven and earth, providential showers of manna, but never of this mysterious color, which might just as easily signal the beginning of the world as the end, this roof floating above the earth, made up of thousands of tiny clouds that almost touch one another and reach in all directions like the stones of a wasteland.
—José Saramago, from The Gospel According to Jesus Christ


Poets think in lines, prose writers in sentences; the best of both work from sound to sense, with an ear for the music in their compositions. S for Sentence celebrates lyricism in prose, the play and craft at work in the artful sentence. We post a sentence a month along with comments by a guest writer on the craft that shapes it, on what makes it great. In one or two sentences.
—Pearl Abraham, Editor
The spiritual and temporal here are not just juxtaposed but judged—the floating roof amazes Joseph more than the stories of manna—and the final clause pulls the wasteland up into the celestial vault, commingling the magnificence of heaven and earth, and suggesting—while foreshadowing the literal coming of Christ—that heaven can also be built from the stones of death.
—Hanna Pylväinen is the author of We Sinners and the forthcoming End of Drum Time