I listened

My schizophrenic mother spun tales out of her hallucinations as if they were bedtime stories.

I listened.

The machine monitoring my fathers cracked heart beeped in the corner of his hospital room like a misguided melody.

I listened.

My friend broke her teeth on vodka bottles and breathed marijuana.

I listened.

My classmate’s mother called and cried that her daughter swallowed forty pills for a midnight snack.

I listened.

Then I cried into the night and it hushed the wails with a soft, clean pillow.

No one listened.

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