I was seven when I first heard the voices;
Seven and excited, seven and young.
I called them my friends,
Gave name to the phantoms,
Gave home to wraiths,
Seven and no longer alone
with my very own shadows and a
gift to see the dead.
I was eight when I realized
they could not be seen,
Not by anyone but me.
I was eight when a shadow gave me his smile
and told me to not be afraid.
I was eight when a shadow showed me his scars
and told me his fears, how he would
protect me when I could not protect myself.
I was eleven when I realized
that I was not 'special';
That I had no gifts.
I was eleven when I realized my phantoms
did not exist, not truly.
I was eleven when I realized I was mad
and my shadows were no more than cracked
mirrors, haunting and revealing my soul.
I was fifteen, fifteen and broken,
When white smiles became red
and the shadows I had called 'friends'
left bodies in their wake.
I was fifteen when I saw a young man hung
and a woman sliced open;
My shadow phantoms with red hands
and taunting voices.
I was sixteen when officially diagnosed,
All in one word: 'schizophrenia'.
It should have been calming,
To have a name to match to the shadows,
A reasoning behind the blood,
The answer to the longing to death.
It should have been calming
but by that time, I too saw red
and my hands were just as warm
as my phantoms.
I am seventeen, seventeen and scrambling
for reasons on why and attempts to stay sane.
I am seventeen and drugged, but my
shadows remain and they still yet whisper.
I am seventeen and I wish I could tell you
this is a work of fiction,
But even now my shadows watch,
and my shadows smile.