His middle name was something Italian, and those dark tresses draped him like a morose cloud. He was introduced to her as “my hairy castoff brother.” They had caught him smoking out front of the local pizza joint, and she’s not sure what all was in the cigar. Those hooded eyes, they were shot through with veins, like faults in the earth or lightning.

He talked deep with the other musicians, not acknowledging her existence, but his voice…she can’t remember the sound or the stuff of it. Maybe it wasn’t quotable. Maybe she was too tired. Either way, he does not stick, like the photographs she’d taken of the Statue of Liberty, bad replicas of a thousand other photos on the same subject.

Months later, he appeared in Nashville like a specter and then drifted to be artsy elsewhere. Where is his wife? someone asked.

He’s married?

With two kids. 

In a fit of voyeurism, she plucked an Instagram photo out of the parquet on his profile: patches of sun in a dark room; camera angled onto a woman, posed like a wraith or a brow-furrowed falcon: killing a shoot with @____, reads the caption. #shadowlove

She slid the window up with the finality of a customer leaving the book on the shelf, unread. Some worlds, she does not miss.



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