Through the peeling wall I can hear you snap your bones one by one. Tiny pings of destruction. In the morning you start with your feet: small bones are easier. By noon, when the rain comes down in sheets, and the last of the leaves die off, you have moved to your fibula, working up to your femur. Not yet fifteen, you have an ageless resilience towards suffering, calling upon ancient curses that burn themselves on the backs of my eyelids, a list of all the mistakes I have made. The ways I didn’t protect you, and still am not.

Charlie Stephens is a high school teacher and writer. In the past their written work has appeared in Instant City, Original Plumbing, and Oakland Local.

Photo Credit: Penn State


3 Responses to “Listening”

  1. Melissa says:

    I found this a beautiful read.

  2. Marple says:

    I’m sorry but I don’t really understand this story.

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