Isaiah Vianese


We repeat it all the time now.
When Kyle hugs me at the train, he says it, 
before he and Dean head to Queens,
me to Harlem.
Back at my apartment, I text,
“Home. Please let me know 
you both make it as well,”
comforted when they’re safe in their place,
changing into sweatpants 
or brushing their teeth.
Later, after we’d spent the evening
eating veggie burgers and drinking beer,
Kristin says it too
as she puts her arms around me,
and when my husband is out of town,
he sends it via message
the evenings I go out on my own.
I didn’t notice the phrase 
when I was younger,
but we’re old enough to know better.
We’ve all lost something,
so if we love someone
and the night draws to an end,
we pull them close to us. We say it.
Then our beautiful hearts pray they do.


Kristin and I stand 
at the end of Chelsea pier,
while the men lay themselves out 
in speedos and trunks.

We’d spent the afternoon
sipping whiskey and gin in the shade,
chatting about friends, love,
getting kissed by someone gorgeous.

Then we strolled through downtown.
I bought a book called, Yes, Daddy,
before we found our way to the water,
a breeze kicking off the river.

Now, the boys bake
their shoulders and thighs,
sip cocktails, reapply oil.
The Trade Center shimmers.

I close my eyes for a moment
and Kristin says, “Heaven,”
before closing hers too,
breathing in the summer air.

Isaiah Vianese is author of the poetry collection Men and Music (Coyote Creek Books, 2016)His poems and book reviews have appeared in AssaracusBlue Collar Review, The Fourth RiverLambda Literary, Moon City Review, Rattle, and Rise Up Review. He is also author of the chapbook, Stopping on the Old Highway (Recycled Karma Press, 2009). He lives in New York City.