shuffling feet moving dust
from shadow into lit air;
atoms alive, small movements
devoid of magic.
he links their fingers,
wraps his arm low
on her body, slight and firm.
she sways, swallowed up in plaid,
hair matted, drawn back,
and her breath near his ear
whispers thoughts, clear as printed word,
pensieve ink stains, her tears:
nick cave croons in a night
empty of human joy;
desolate lands roll away
from their walking legs.
all they can do now
slowly, like they're dying.
he holds her close and thinks of failures
he could have prevented:
a wand drawn on a parapet,
the mechanics of the sky that night,
recorded in last breaths,
innocence lost under the weight
of colliding worlds
while he hid under the stairs –
he'd always been so good at hiding
under the stairs…
he's unsure why –
with her in his arms,
the lyrics wound 'round their heads
like laurel, blessings, manna they can't eat –
why he's thinking of him,
of black birds and sparrows,
scars under their clothes,
and how easily they denied one another.
her heart beats against his chest.
the air is warm with song
as trees outside wave unfrenzied,
waiting for them to walk on,
aimless as fawns without mothers.
she's thinking of him,
and all he can remember
are eyes the colour of unshed tears
apologies never given
blood shed on stone
hands that never touch
wands always drawn
the music distills to traces of itself,
swirling desolate, picking up light
and moving it behind his eyes
and he tries to forget:
watching a boy walk a hall,
a boy like him,
searching for something in a mirror
that only tells lies,
searching for himself in cupboards kept locked.
he forgets their animosity,
and as night moves into dawn
and the trees still
and the silence sleeps on, frozen…
as their broken little hearts
beat them forward,
limping them along unlaid paths
harry remembers nights not taken,
arms that could embrace his return
if they could lay their hatred down
like old swords, misused,
say one another's names
and mean it.