We called you Fabio,
hair of gold, long, and unruly.
The girls came
with no effort from you.
A quiet mystique,
they all wanted to know
what you were thinking
in that brain
that rested, suspended,
underneath that thick rug of red hair.
Your brain
that knew enough to fight cases in a court of law
but couldn’t reason the case to stop,
not even after you held your best friend’s hand,
Louie’s calloused hand,
when he left us
at the age of 45.

This morning, I read an ugly text.
“San just passed away.”
Brava. You outlived Louie by only 10 years.
You don’t need me to tell you
that you were too young,
but I guess it comforts the living to know

you are in that peaceful place with Louie.
That place we seem to think
exists based on faith alone.
Your family and friends wish you were here.
Are they selfish?

I listen to my lover’s chest
in the early morning,
ear on his heart,
nicotine kissing my hair.
I search for something I can’t hear,
that thing that could grow,
that thing that could take him from me.
“It’s okay” he says,
with a grin that could stop Mussolini.
“I couldn’t ask for a better way to go than lying here with you,
naked, your dainty head on my chest.”
Is that supposed to console me?

A piece of me deteriorates
when his voice goes horse,
that voice that utters
breathtaking words,
that voice that
has treated my wounds,
that voice that shows me

how to love again.
I don’t want that voice to go
like a fallen angel, to drop,
following those who wouldn’t stop.

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Nancy Byrne Iannucci is a poet from Long Island, New York who currently lives in Troy, NY with her two cats: Nash and Emily Dickinson.  San Pedro River Review, Defenestration, Hobo Camp Review, Bending Genres, The Mantle, Typehouse Literary Magazine, Bluebird Word, Glass: a Poetry Journal are some of the places you will find her. She is the author of three chapbooks, Temptation of Wood (Nixes Mate Review, 2018), Goblin Fruit (Impspired, 2021), and Primitive Prayer (Plan B Press, fall 2022). Visit her at  Instagram: @nancybyrneiannucci
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