Ry Cook

If the neighbors upstairs are or are not our neighbors upstairs
then everything is a branch scrolling in muzzled fear.
If everything is a branch scrolling in muzzled fear
then the dog howls a song of waking up.
If we must walk these cold streets turned sleet
then I want to be held for ten minutes more.
If you kiss my forehead and it is out of tune it is cathartic.
The leaves move the wind from the trees to the fire escape.
The ice machine in the freezer does or does not break.
The coffee is or is not drunk.
The clothes are or are not thrown into the laundry hamper.
The tattoos you wear do or do not turn me on
to the idea of staying in your skin.
If the breeze hits our toes at just the right angle.
If the the things exchanged after
it has already been decided.  
If my tongue.
If the sheets.
If breath.