Night winds whisper softly at my window 
as a slideshow winds up in my mind
of that one time in seventh grade 
when I heard the voice that wasn’t real
telling me to “be a good girl and go upstairs.”
In the furious torrent of background noise
that was a state marching band competition 
in the stands of Commonwealth Stadium,
the sudden chilling fear I felt still stops me 
tonight as the slides play over and over again,
louder than the cicadas outside, and I wonder
even now what might have happened 
had I been alone that day, twelve years old,
convinced by phantom audio 
that I was supposed to leave a safe place
and venture toward the unknown.

Night winds whisper at my window now and then,
and each time I let a memory tape
run on a loop in my brain, the only thing
that comforts me is that these days,
I hear no voices in the wind.