Strays

We disagree on timing. 
You like the fullness of the moment
before a decision is made, 
when every possibility is still available.  

I have no attachment to that moment. 

The pitbull in the backseat takes no position
except the one closest to the person she can reach. 
She attacks other dogs,
my fingers are bruised beneath the knuckles
from the effort of restraining her violence.
She attacks what she recognizes as her own
and climbs into the lap of whatever uncertain creature is not. 

As she lowers a hesitant paw onto my thigh, 
I glance over at you and notice
that you release your palm from the steering wheel
every few minutes, as if your hand had cramped.
You ask, 
Aren’t things always better
before you know what they are either way
?
I can’t even look at you. 
We all know what you mean.

I can feel the full weight of the pitbull
resting on my thighs now, 
pressing me into the seat. 
She looks up at me with such naked hunger. 
For a moment, we are in this together.

Tomorrow, you will wake up early,
make soft-scrambled eggs,
and pull a pair of thick woolen socks
over my sharp ankles, 
so my “bones won’t get cold.”
Neither of us likes to disagree.
It’ll be less clear then than it is now: 
with your dog resting heavily on my lap, 
her muscles finally relaxed, her breathing regular,
and your beautiful long hands, 
clasping and unclasping the wheel.