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The Last Dance of Eva Braun

By Steve Denehan

The air is tight beneath the burning grass

of a falling Berlin

above us, a hell of our design

while we sit in our bunker

in silent flickering light

we can sense it, the end, it slithers about the floor

in amongst our feet and we are numb now

waiting, as dust falls from the ceiling

with each determined pulse above

you sit, hunched, across from me

staring at the floor, your generals long since fled

their singsong loyalty in smoking pieces between your boots

I stand and cross the room

and start the gramophone

the needle scratches

you look up

to see me standing there

in your favourite dress, blood red roses at the bodice

I remember when you said

“all blood is innocent” and

then the music starts to play

yet you do not stand

and do not speak

and so, for this dance, I know

that now is the time when I must lead

that you let me is at once endearing

and devastating, so devastating

yet we dance, as artillery falls above us

in time with booming drums and

bullet casings land

supernaturally in parallel with swirling piano

and then I hear you, while we sway

humming gently in my ear

we are on Lake Constance once more

leaving fading footprints

in the settling dust

behind us

Steve Denehan lives in Kildare, Ireland with his wife Eimear and daughter Robin. Recent publication credits include Better Than Starbucks, Fowl Feathered Review, The Blue Nib, The Opiate, The Hungry Chimera, Poetry Quarterly, Evening Street Review, The Folded Word, Ink In Thirds, Crack The Spine, The Cape Rock, Visions International and Third Wednesday.  He has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize and his chapbook, "Of Thunder, Pearls and Birdsong" is available from Fowlpox Press.

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