by Marvin Shackelford
The Bible means more, but the brick is heavier. The brick is the only loose piece from the home they built together, a failing of the mortar along the porch, but the Bible has the family tree. It branches back before them to Ellis, to gangplanks dropped against New England rock. It singles down after them to son and daughters and has begun splitting and grafting away again. Their life a still, narrow point. She can dig on into the Bible and turn up the roots of all mankind. She can stumble through vows chanted and sworn and inscribed. She sits and thinks. She sits and drinks wine from the wedding, dusty from the cabinets. Too soon for it still, really. It’s wrapped up, the Bible, in black leather stiff with age and scoured smooth by fingers.