That day you told her you loved her

You must not have noticed the flicker of sorrow behind her smile

The slight pause before she repeated your words back to you

Now, years later, you are unaware of her nightly ritual

Waiting for you to fall asleep

Silently sliding out of bed

Tiptoeing down the stairs

Retrieving a hidden pack of Camel Filters from under the kitchen sink

Slinking out the door

Curling up on the patio chair

Holding herself as she inhales the tobacco and the carcinogens

Blowing out swirling clouds of smoke

As she sends an earnest prayer out to the universe

That one day she will learn to love you back

And that that day will come before she completely destroys you