The other day I walked past a man who was on the phone
As I went past I heard him say:
‘I’m hearing the voices again’
I thought about what they say to him
Do they reaffirm his loneliness?
Does he fear for his health?
Do they make him wish he’d kill himself?
Who was he talking to on the phone?
A friend who’s been through it all
An understanding father
An overworked doctor In a bombsite broom cupboard
Kept awake and eyes all jittery from shit coffee
At night she lies on her back and listens
To the disturbed whispers suicidal thoughts and
Silent screams through the open window
Like unwanted bugs
Buzzing around her ear
She screams into her pillow like their despair is her own
When was the last time someone asked how she’s feeling?


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