After you broke the glass with the heel of your wedding shoe I surprised you: I took your hand.
I could not imagine then what marriage would be: sitting at my desk, the window
open to a hot English summer, reading your paper on paleography. Didn’t know I
would learn about the scribe Aldred, writing in the tenth century, his hand untouched by woman. Or how you would see beauty in the Lindisfarne letters: “Everywhere there are twists and turns: stylistic reimaginings, elongations of strokes, inventive ligatures, flourishes and above all elegant variation.”
Couldn’t imagine I would learn about English vernacular minuscule, about the turned-down toe of the ‘t’ that has a lower curve hooked down at the tip. Or the long lower left branch ‘x’ with its lower left stroke extending well below the base-line.
I only knew your smile radiating into my palm, a glass shattered inside a white cloth napkin, and people singing and reaching towards us, and your hair dark, rough as summer winds, your hand.