Tuesday, March 27, 2012
The Sacred Bookstore
In the sacred bookstore we kneel in the aisles to turn the pages of our scripture. Our voices drop to a hush. Our eyes look downward. We all turn off our phones. My daughters float in baptismal gowns reading about fairies and girls who tame wolves. My wife searches for words about her pain, lips moving, eyes nearly closed. My mother reads to my father in a whisper that carries. Priests and nuns, rabbis and imams, saints and sinners gather in the sacred bookstore. They pass notes and collection baskets. Sip coffee and eat wafer thin biscuits. Outside, cars roar through the streets. The market is down. Politicians stand on street corners shouting their way to salvation. The sky itself falls. In the sacred bookstore clerks murmur an incantation. The customers respond. We all say amen. I look up to the vaulted ceiling. Frescoed on the stone, God hands Adam an apple. Eve sits nearby, reading a book, paying them no mind. I kiss the binding of my book. Close my eyes. And pray the words written inside the pages.