Cold War

by Tom Bajoras

Hello he says
without taking his eyes off his breakfast.
She walks into the kitchen
and answers hello
as if she were reciting
the digits of pi.

He can’t remember
the last time he cared enough
to ask a question like
what do you really want to tell me
about how you feel
when the sky is trying to rain
and the rain refuses to come.

With missiles on both sides aimed and ready,
the safest strategy is
to speak only if necessary
and silently pray
that a misplaced word
doesn’t turn this kitchen
into the end of the world.