if he dies in the same hospital
where he was born

if she hollers
next stop the morgue

if no one dares move
images between stanzas

if stairs bend out or in
not spiral up or down

if the leaves
never turn

if your vertigo
spills onto hers

if my thirst lasts longer
than her walk across a swing bridge

if Monday morning swindles
Saturday night

if velvet and hook
never meet let alone mate

if smog surrounds a motel
in early October

if there was no word if

then would be a lonely widow
who never turns the page

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