When I Ask Him

When I ask him, he said he'll quit his thirteen-year habit. So I think about it... I've smoked for only a year; a light, compulsive habit that has not yet been difficult to break when I go home. Yet still, even there, after everyone has gone to bed, I'll walk alone, smoking. He and I are the only two awake. Stars -- brilliant above me, weak in his sky -- help map the distance. And so I crush the smoldering butt into the gravel and know what he means when he says his is not a physical habit, but psychological.

[Heather Libby]