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Best Poems Written by Leah Ollie

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Details | Leah Ollie Poem

face value

Let’s talk about first impressions
Let’s talk about face value 
Because the meaning of face value is, face it, your value is determined by how long you can stay a pretty face
And that's all i’ll ever be if we’re being honest
I see a lot of things people don't see but what i do see and hear is them calling me “pretty”
But let's not stop there
Let's examine this body, this host of flesh and bone
disproportionate curves that don’t quite fill out the way i’d hoped they would
stubby legs that might be able to make me dance but can't carry me home
“linebacker” shoulders that every woman in my family inherits 
A waist that’s small, but not THAT small, you know
I see these pieces of me as a mosaic or shattered glass, broken pieces of a whole
But i can't give it a rest because face value says otherwise
Take the compliments but stay humble
Starve in silence, take the drugs but dont fumble them because if you drop your friend’s diet pills down the toilet she’ll kill you
And that’s a whole other conversation, a whole other issue
how i’m so scared that one day i’ll OD in a moment of desperation, that i never learned how to swallow pills in the first place
It's like playing with matches and hoping not to catch aflame
So i flush the pills, hand the bottle back under the stall door 
but now that i think about it
Now that i wrap up my words in pretty paper packaging
it's not starving, its “constricting”, and i’m getting “more fit and toned”
But face value brings up the fact that sure, your arms are getting tighter but your weight hasn't dropped in five months and you don’t let food pass your lips more than twice a day
So you choke it down and the dull hunger in your stomach becomes that nagging friend, ever present but unavoidable
You add a couple extra crunches before bed, a little less of that granola bar because 100 calories is too many
You force yourself to walk the extra block to the bus stop and rid your body of rest like it's the devil because once sleep begins you know it always ends
You cover your plates with your napkins and wear baggy clothes even in dance class because you feel like a round peg in a square hole
Because as an iconic dancer, teacher and choreographer once told you “you know, you can’t be a dancer if you’re chubby wubby!” 
Baby voice and all

Copyright © Leah Ollie | Year Posted 2019



Details | Leah Ollie Poem

untitled 1

the boy picks away at her, unraveling her conscience by the seams
as if by undressing her thoughts he can undress her body, that’s the idea
but no, the girl contains multitudes
a sprawling beach of expansive individual measure, omnipresent in her serenity and peace
but one day she looked into his shallow pool and saw an ocean
an ocean that washes up and leaves nothing behind but sand and salty residue but she sees it as a glimmering sea of halcyon anyways
so when his hands like the cresting waves crawl over her shore
she’s caught in the riptide of his words and his fragile fancy
his brackish humor and relaxed disposition drowned her out
but worst of all she doesn’t see her beautiful wildlife being pulled out to sea
ecosystems inside families inside homes, all of it
all of the life hosted inside the girls sand soul
she lets it rot, neglecting to nourish the richest parts inside of her
and so festering like a virus, the life she contains dies slowly
the girl has been stripped of her common sense, her creativity, her identity
the girl is a shell, hollowed out and breakable
and the boy picked her up and tossed her into his pool 
to lay (in the opposite of peace, mind you) with every other shell that had come before her

Copyright © Leah Ollie | Year Posted 2019