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Oct 2019 · 231
dear home
hillary litberg Oct 2019
dear home,

i’m sorry. for everything. wholeheartedly. i’m sorry for leaving you with empty space i felt uneasy filling. for doubting you were my scripted setting. for losing faith that you could fully foster me. for getting too comfortable, falling victim to fickle feelings. for getting caught in the hypnosis of distance. for taking your endless roads for granted when they cradled me along. i’m sorry i didn’t listen when they said light is crucial to grow. and not the artificial kind i’ve come to know. i don’t love what i left you for like i thought i would. now i’m slowly learning a lesson in choosing rash choices. you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. some cliches are that way for a reason. but best believe i’m drenched in the karma of leaving you in the embers. i’m burning too but in other worse ways. you see, consequence caught up to me. it’s coarsened my skin and forces fake smiles. it lodges pits in my guts and steals lustre from thoughts. i’ve suffered. i deserve it. but make it not for nothing. because i miss your aura. i miss your seas. i miss the way we moved with ease. i don’t know a god, but i pray to the sky, that you haven’t forgotten those paramount nights. where we made memoirs out of nothing more than time. the moments we drank each other in. i soaked in your sun, and you in my skin. dear, dear home, please take me back. if you haven’t filled my space with a more steady heart, we can rework our tempos or just restart. it’s a tough sell, i know, but i’m ready to evolve. be my sunstone. be my backbone. be a part of me in any way.  i’ll turn my insides to clay to be what you need. whatever it is just please, please, please.

a misplaced migrant
hillary litberg Aug 2019
i wrote you a letter,
spritzed it with pheromones,
dotted it in tears

every grim notion was far too pretty —
dressed in ballpoint ink
dancing a legato cursive

tracing everything i didn’t say;
my tongue was tangled up,
and your hearing was selective

but pain was bubbling out my pores,
and starting to burn
the only remedy was writing it out:

dear you,

i want to mold me into the
pedestal i put you on,
but you have to scooch a little

i want to go on a scavenger hunt
in your brain, but you didn’t
think to draft out clues

i want to use your heartbeat for 808s
and play them on repeat,
but you’d probably say that’s ludicrous

i want to find our favorite
frequency, i think it’s
somewhere close to middle c,

but you didn’t meet me there
never really cared to care,
and that’s fine, that’s fair

your debt to me is absent
same as mine to you
yet i’m still paying in time wasted

analyzing your words in my head
that don’t have double meanings
like i devised

you’re as literal as stem majors
uneager to decode the metaphors
i made for you

so i’ll stop writing them
at least
i’ll try


folded up my fears of feeling
something more than my pulse
the impulse wasn’t strong enough

couldn’t muster the courage
to address it in your name
still i hoped you’d somehow see

so i let the wind take the reins
with fate in the passenger seat
clutching my precious card-stock cargo

will it find it’s way to you,
or dissolve amongst the mist?
i guess that i can only guess
a little ditty about trying to get over unrequited love which as we all know, *****!
Aug 2019 · 71
slow burn
hillary litberg Aug 2019
every time i hit rock bottom
someone digs a little deeper
now these walls are too steep
i’ve not enough grip
slip and slip and slip and slip
pickup and pack up perpetual bags
start the process over
with new characters
and settings
and expectations
but the same feelings
and probably meanings
and letdowns and stained cheeks
should i cut or burn this time?
there’s one thing i control
where shall i take these scissors
to my forehead or my closest ties?
that are holding me together
but all too tight
is it weak to wither away
at the hands of something
i can’t see?
my demons are only metaphors
just like those bags and ties
i used to think depression pains
were the same
but they’re as literal as can be
not just tears but pangs
broken hearts bleed faster
and tarnished lungs take shallow breaths
the past took a pocketknife to my skin
carved and scooped me out
and turned my body to a little tease
that won’t give me the real mortal thing
i wrote this when i was rlly ****** sad lol
Jul 2019 · 107
when the party’s over
hillary litberg Jul 2019
when you’ve woken from a nap induced by higher clouds,
wiped the sleep & the party from your eyes and chip crumbs from your chin

it’s 3:42, the hours flew for fun is a catalyst & time was constructed by your misty mind
but eventually the fog lifts & you’re left with cans & roaches & thirst &

you have to go back to the brutal back break of reality, the back to back
books, to second skin day jobs, to trying to squeeze in something worthwhile

like tonight when the moon wasn’t full but your hearts & cups were
& you learned to love songs that sounded like serotonin

you relearned the way that laughter heals apprehension
you danced around strangers, let things be easy for a second

but haziness dulls & the beer coat comes off, you remember tomorrow, you realize it’s cold
& your jacket’s at home buried under obligations, so you borrow one that doesn’t quite fit,

lace up high tops, check for phone keys & wallet, mumble awkward goodbyes
to fellow late night stragglers & to the hillary who remembers to inhale
Jul 2019 · 536
the lil things
hillary litberg Jul 2019
it’s fresh sticks of vanilla deodorant,
cap’n crunch going on sale,
ladies selling mangoes in midtown,

it’s the pictures of baby cows,
the most specific dream tattoos,
documentaries about unsolved ******,

it’s an oxymoronic vegan cheeseburger,
striped shirts with a graphic one layered on top,
the clear memory of pacific air,

it’s all of robert smith’s hair,
prodigy kids on cooking shows,
stinging sunburns quickly fading,

it’s the perfume of onions and garlic sautéing,
smooth sidewalks where mom’s back is safe,
well-loved shoes that used to be white,

it’s an avocado perfectly ripe,
girls riding skateboards alongside boys,
rings that don’t turn fingers green,

its bras that won’t make memory foam of me,
jars full of change -- saving for something,
still going strong senior couples,

it’s an anthem that came up on shuffle,
the last clean socks without a hole,
chipped tooth smiles, snaggled ones too,

it’s just the word hullabaloo,
three new albums in a day,
someone else’s king sized bed,

it’s the **** pieces of loaves of bread,
an empty train after a long night,
dog tails that are just teeny nubs,

it’s sour candies and numb tastebuds,
weezer’s ever expanding discography,
end-of-day hair thrown into a bun,

it’s cobalt.
it’s b flat.
it’s twenty one.

it’s whistling.
it’s goosebumps.
it’s serendipity.

it’s getting out of the sound of the city,
untangling tiny necklace knots,
reuniting with my long distance cats,

it’s tongues to the tune of soundcloud rap,
learning a language even a little,
finally seeing real lighting bolts,  

it’s tourist dominoes when the train jolts,
finding keys -- being able to leave,
breaking in the most stubborn shoes,

it’s the empty after puking up *****,
flirting with customers and getting paid,
knowing every word and singing along,

it’s not breaking my friends’ bongs,
still doing cartwheels because i still can,
getting a thirty but taking an hour,

it’s waking up first, getting the warmest shower,
cutting my own hair, well, when it goes well,
having an umbrella when it starts to rain,

it’s getting out a demon stain,
taking pens from work, they don’t pay me
walking in to no lines at trader joe’s,

it’s picking things up with my toes,
learning the chord i’d been looking for,
tacking knick knacks on the walls,

it’s loitering in suburban shopping malls,
frosting cookies during christmas,
laughing for the first time in a while,

it’s getting told someone likes my style,
feeling a heartbeat other than mine,
sneaking in a second to breathe,

it’s witnessing every single thing,
picking through the good and bad,
and letting the little guys win,

it’s seeing.
it’s living.
it’s taking it in.
Jul 2019 · 180
self portrait - june 2019
hillary litberg Jul 2019
pressed strawberries into my skin
to have a permanent bite of a younger me
who plucked sweetness from vines under coastal suns
and wore freckles far from faded —
still hot from the burn that drew them

poked asymmetry into my face
dressed it in tiny, shiny silver spheres
like ornaments on a christmas tree mid-january
a sharp contrast to the dying pine that no ones thrown out yet
that no longer carries the same cheery scent

painted orange through these tangled locks
to revive a youth with shortcake hair and not a single qualm
before it all faded to ***** blonde
the cheap dye smelled like nostalgia:
grape otter pops at waterparks in summers

put on colors with turned up saturation
a palette like that one july — before he drained the flush in my cheeks
and made rainbows look like oz before technicolor
all grayscale and dull when i was promised magic
and music and marvel and memories — the good kind

peered at the lightning bolts on my hips and thighs
that i know i should appreciate — how they’re a symbol for growth
how they’re like little paths that lead to a better me
but i can’t help but hate the way they remind me of earthquake aftermath
no one likes to think about that or see that

played around with pretty eyes
needed something to cover what’s broken behind mine
but he couldn't find any value
in trading his clear blue ponds for these sunken
deep polluted seas

so i

pulled what little i had left in me
and put it on my callous skin
salvaged an old scrapbook full of visions
and said i’d turn them into deja vu
a shapeshifter that shook those who followed along

rewriting everything that was wrong
hillary litberg Jun 2019
you’re hanging on my frame,
and i’m
looking for something wrong with you,
and i’m
not finding any holes, or stains,
or stitches that forgot their function,
you’re unexpectedly immaculate
and just my taste,
a one-of-a-kind that makes me
believe in soulmates,
you fit just right,
the good kind of tight
that hugs every curve
desperate for affection,
compliments my most specific parts,
sparks joy through every
vein and pore,
lifts the highlights,
and drowns the low,
i can’t comprehend
what possessed your possessor
to let you slip,
so i flipped you outside in,
searched every seam,
and everything was
just as good as it seemed,
now i’m baffled that someone
banished your beauty
to bargain bins for this
beggar who can’t choose,
who’s spending her last dime on you,

so forgive my fears you’ll fall apart
secondhand has rarely taken me far.

2. you’re wrapped in my arms,
and i’m
looking for something wrong with you,
and i’m
not finding fault in your clumsy smile,
or fading facade,
or ink poked imperfectly
over scars,
or how you warm what
the radiator doesn’t reach,
how you learned the rosetta stone
of my love languages,
and lately i’ve been
desperate for affection,
you compliment my most specific parts,
exactly what i needed
cause i’ve never felt ease,
and we’re a crooked coordination
the kind of mismatched that’s pleasing,
still i can’t fathom
why you’ve settled for scribbled songs
when it’s symphonies you’ve earned,
so i turned you outside in
looking for one fatal flaw,
found it written in your
sobered skin, but i can
overlook an imperfect timeline,
i’ve wiped my own clean
washed it down with wine,
so sorry to cling, to become parasitic,
i’ll pry myself off, please just be patient,

and forgive me for fearing this is all in jest
i’ve just never had more than second best.
Jun 2019 · 65
hillary litberg Jun 2019
we may have abandoned religion, but this is our mecca. because for months we’ve been depositing our anguish into piggy bank hearts & the time has come to crack them open & leave our haul on this beer can littered floor. unclean melodies reach into our chests & pull out the target of their affection. bigger bodies become hammers & our invested, fractured feelings leak out of ceramic wounds while we play a game of bumper cars for the broken. it isn’t anarchy for it’s governed by music & a moment. and in the moment the aroma of testosterone & forgotten deodorant crowdsurfs its way through this mob that isn’t armed with pitchforks but with passion. it isn’t pretty, but we’re blind beneath blue lights. get lost in the song that found me, & for a moment, forfeit stability just to serenade my senses. lose footing & add scrapes to beat knees, but strangers become brothers & put me back on faulty feet & adrenaline stitches each wound in time for the final refrain. with only three minutes left, there’s nothing to lose, except maybe a tooth or two, but we’ll worry about wounds later, for blood could very well be hair dye stained sweat & our conscious telling us to sit down is drowned out by the drums & we’ve finally found a way to take internal ache & channel it somewhere with more of a penchant for pain. so we take a hit off the final verse & scrape up enough energy to throw our bodies at each other like we were once one, & are trying to be whole again. we’ve already soundproofed our souls & the endorphin high hits so we don’t fret about the bruises, they’ll be like temporary tattoos adding art to our temples
this is about mosh pits ****

— The End —