Confession

Darling, I’m sorry; I broke
and started smoking again,
even though lung cancer killed your aunt
and we hear the hacking start of it
in your mother’s breathing now.
Afterwards, I light scented candles,
scrub from fingertip to elbow
like someone preparing for prayer.
I wash my clothes three times a week
and brush my teeth until my gums bleed.
Not that it matters;
I know you will taste ash when you kiss me
all the same.

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