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Leah Hilliges Oct 2021
Cheap therapy:
The graphite etchings in my wearing blue book of Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for violin
Luka and cherry wine echoing, my fingers twitching, my heart pounding - the biting air of the purple sky.
Cheap therapy for:
My core– perhaps precipitated by the looming expectations of my mother and school– wrung dry by the pressure
to succeed, seemingly.
That which unravels me.
The price of cheaper therapy, an open letter:
Dear Asian flush, your heat that beats red hot on my cheeks, your drums that drone relentlessly behind the temples - I joke you will **** me – you will. You rage a war on my body. You’re poison.
Thank you for saving my life.
Leah Hilliges Oct 2021
Why are you so angry?
Please, don’t patronise me by denying it
You pick fights
And find ways to twist our words
To fit your agenda
Your story
Get them on your side
That’s all
Your story
You care
You want to know what I’m doing in school
But share my thoughts
I feel unsafe at home
Why are you hurting so
You throw things at me
When I speak English
When I wish to convey complex thoughts
If I were any smaller
You would throw me
No doubt about it
See those scars?
You’re angrier than ever
What a joke
I’m desperate to wake
From this reality
Where you have learnt to reshape your anger
From violence
To words
Words that cut me
Worse than slits on my cold skin could hurt me
Sometimes I wonder how I haven’t fallen in to a deep depression yet
Until I realize you’d have won
And I can’t let you win
I can’t let hate win
I won’t be like you
This legacy ends this generation
**** your family
It wasn’t your fault
But now it is
Welcome to the toxic family club
How may I help you take your children’s childhood?
Oh you’ve done it already?
Great.
Passed the first requirement for being in the most hated lockdown homes club.
Stop victimizing yourself
It’s disgusting and exhausting
Quit fighting with me
I’m out as soon as I’m 18
I'm so tired mom
But I don’t expect you to see that
I’m done mom
I’m done.
Leah Hilliges Sep 2021
When I was ten I killed myself.
Twelve, my clothes are soaked from the musty depression filling my lungs, I gasp for air;
Fourteen, the white walls of my room were stained yellow by the loneliness that I trekked in from school;
Sixteen, I ran away from home;
Seventeen, anxiety threatens to choke, tightening my blue heart and shaking my white hands, and ***** is my choice of sedative;
Eighteen—
Leah Hilliges Jun 2021
is even more emancipating than playing music, dancing, running — running away
or burning the paper that sit on my desk in my second home
partly because with your ruffled hair you look like the thoughts I wish I could have
partly because of our understanding of each other
partly because you give me space to talk, to cry, and you listen, really listen
mostly because you supply the drink that promises to drown out the noise
its sweet burn is more sickening than the expectations, fragments of which
have been lain around me by my mind like the masons that build with marble
haunted by the twisted corpses of the children that had mined them.
The wall of expectations that threatens to cave in and consume me.

I look
At you and I would rather ask you to reinforce my insulting thoughts
than to ask for your support I’m unfamiliar with
Except possibly when I’ve almost dried up the bottle,
and the loneliness overwhelms and spills over like the glass you wordlessly refill for me
And thank heavens you don’t ask how I’ve been because I don’t think I could stop
if I started talking, and if I start talking I’ll cry and you’ll just sit and listen quietly.
And that’s not fair. It my fault for being this way, and for asking you to have a drink with
Me

And what good does my guise of success do when the cost is my happiness.
I hope you can forgive me for talking about myself.
I’m no O’Hara, I cannot get the right person to stand near the tree when the sun soaks
I’m not in love.
And I don’t know if you like to have drinks with me or if if you just feel sorry for me,
but your presence calms, and you brought the drink when no on else understood

it seems they were all spared of some wretched experience
which has not escaped me, or isolated me, yet
which is why I’m telling you about it.
Pastiche of "Having a Coke with You" by Frank O'Hara
Leah Hilliges May 2021
The old man who
Quietly observed the 5am commuters
Demanded no reciprocation
And the few who knew him
Grew accustomed to his presence
As their wallets thickened
And their backpacks were exchanged for briefcases,

The old man who
Quietly observed the 5am commuters
Saw the few who knew him
Slowly lose their curiosity
And their youthful naivety
To the noiseless bureaucracy
That stains those jobs
That demand a 5am commute,

The old man
Quietly observed the 5am commuters
Until one day he didn’t
And the few who knew him
No longer took the 5am train
In the paper lives they’d shaped
And quickly forgot the old man,

How sad,
that none of their cases could find the space
To hold the soul of the gentleman.
Leah Hilliges May 2021
Three flights of stairs and two lefts,
And there she’ll be,
Waiting for me.

Her lips, chipped.
Hips, dipped.
Scars from rough hands,
Of careless, foolish men.

She lacks eye contact,
Seems detached–
Marble skin,
Cold like her kin.

Reliably imperfect.
My muse.
Leah Hilliges Apr 2021
Forgive me for offending,
and bruising your heart.

You cannot know, that
mine is guarded,
by thick bars welded over years.

You cannot know, that
my piercing words only reflect my fear,
of giving up that familiar loneliness.

You cannot know, that
even with your best efforts,
it cannot and will not be.

Forgive me for offending,
and tempting your heart once again.
3 rejections
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