The whispers seep through the heat vents from the metro station and flutter into my ear

In commanding voices they talk to me

Angry, mean, sad, comforting, scary

Racing through my mind, exploring every nook and cranny

As I yell and fight the voices,

the few stragglers left, mainly partiers and low-lifes, like myself,

scurry along the dirty sidewalks

Like cockroaches

They walk right on past me with the occasional fearful glance

Thinking that my outbursts of swinging fists and trembling screams are my fault

That I’m the culprit

Not knowing that I was once like them, before my mind was alienated from me by the voices

Their ignorance seeps inside my soul further degrading me

As I try to recollect the few fragments of sanity

I feel the rough concrete and rusted metal under my thumb

rubbing away at it as if it will help

when I truly know that only home will help

but those memories of warm chicken soup and the smell of the gas stove being lit and the feel of adjusting the thermostat have all seeped away through the years

their sweetness being steeped into the harsh outside

like tea in lukewarm water

I try to fall back asleep

but each voice is its own alarm clock

Jolting my awake with another hurtful word

I tell them to shut up for once, but they are not good listeners

Forcefully I burrow myself into my slightly damp blankets and try to snuggle up closer to the side of the train station

Like always, that does not help

After hours of fighting

The sun approaches and I realize sleep has left me out like everything else

not even its warm embrace dares to touch me

only the voices are their for me, for better or for worse

Pryce Davies is in the ninth grade at Haverford High School. He enjoys playing soccer, competing in the competition band, reading, and spending time with his family.