She says her peace like truth then holds it.

What a bitch, I think, as something in me screams and dies.

Three years won and lost like some back alley dice game.

I bet too high.

I go to speak and can’t. Can barely think.

I want to rant. Instead I look away, shame faced,

full of fear and passion I can’t feel.

My fingers reminisce over her skin from the safety of my lap.

She won’t look at me so I watch her mouth.

I watch her lips pucker around a cigarette, puff and part.

I watch the smoke coil between them like a serpent.

I watch them shape the words I already expect.

I can’t say anything, I have nothing to offer,

but I know she needs something, so I nod.

I want to laugh, or scream.

I want to feel something other than the numbness.

I keep nodding.

After a while she looks up at me. I can see tears uncried in her eyes.

Something like a smile eats at the corners of her mouth.

‘At least the morphine was good,’ she whispers.