what might have been

They sit together on the ferry, one smiling and peaceful and the other rocking and blank, eyes rolling in sockets. They may have been twins, once. Twins like mine, except both survived. Like Liam might have survived.

He holds his rocking brother’s hand, an anchor for his injured reflection who twitches and lolls. I watch as his thumb gently strokes his brother’s, his wrapped fingers pat-pat-patting reassurance where little is likely to register. The ferry lurches as it pushes away from the terminal and I finally manage to look away, having learned a little bit more about love.