He said, “I’ll sit by you.”
She turned her head and coughed. The nub of a cigarette burned between two fingers.
He said, “I’ll sit beside your silences and I’ll sit beside your screams. And I’ll hold you as needed, and fill what needs filling.”
“Could you?” she said, hating him.
“I’ll empty your ashtrays….”
“Would you?” she said and flicked her cigarette ash to the floor.
“And when the time comes, I’ll sift through the ashes for a sign that…”
“But you’re blind,” she said.
He took the cigarette from her and let it burn down to his fingertips, dropped it, stepped on it.
She looked at him.
He, at the floor.