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The Hilltop


Zora’s Corner

Nobody Moves

By Parris Brown, sophomore theatre arts major

looked outside and the sky was pink!

Darker than pink ribbons dancing in the wind

Darker than the pink I envisioned when that boy with the crooked smile on the playground asked me what my favorite color was

Darker than that feeling I get in the pit in my stomach when my sister asks how am I doing; but brighter than her smile when I say okay.

A pink that hid the sun but made sure the clouds loomed over me, threatening to swallow me whole

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And I seemed to be constantly chasing something

Constantly wanting to grasp something that long ago escaped to the sky, without telling me

And maybe if I would’ve counted how many seconds passed between each rise and fall of his chest

And maybe if my Mema was mentally stable enough to properly raise my mother

And maybe if my mom didn’t perm my hair when I was seven

And maybe when he asked me if he was hurting me and I said YES OH GOD IT HURTS PLEASE STOP HURTING ME. instead

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And maybe if my Papa remembered me before he died

Or maybe if I could’ve stopped my dad from hitting my sister. And my sister. And my brother.

And my brother.

Because I haven’t stopped questioning whether or not I even matter since I was seven! 

And the people who understand me have one foot out of life, buried ten feet in the dirt of their own graves. And they’re slowly sinking, quickly, no hand outstretched for me to try to pull them back up, not fighting back, but they wont look away. They don’t blink as they watch me. And I watch them.

And we both watch as I let them sink, my sneakers inches away from where I could also be. The speed so agonizingly slow that you’d think they’d change their mind. You’d think me even being there with them would make them want to stay with me for a little longer, make them want to fight once more so I don’t have to watch them struggle. But they continue to sink below the earth. And I continue to watch, like they wanted

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If this intangible thing that Ive been chasing for as long as Ive been lost would shoot down from the pink sky and stop me in my tracks and

Let me know that Ive been running for nothing. Show me there’s no need to continue running.

Fly into my heart and still my breath.

Then maybe I wouldn’t consider following in their footsteps

dont know what this is about. I am unsure how any of these feelings relate to each other.

But my siblings hate themselves. And my mother hates her father. And my mother loves her father And my father hates his mother. And my mother. And I hate myself. And they all just sit there, under the pink sky, shoulder to shoulder, wordlessly, and I no longer feel an urge to run.

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So I join them and curl up to my knees

And nobody moves.


By JJ, sophomore criminology major

I am scared of time because I am scared of change. hand-in-hand, one is never seen without the other. time bringing about changes for which i am never prepared. changes leaving me stuck in place like a broken watch, my surface shattered and my insides still. hours and minutes halted, each hand daring the other to make the first move. time bringing about new beginnings, but also new endings. flipping past pages and chapters I insisted were incomplete, urging me to move on.

time, flowing like the waves of the ocean, slows when I am at my worst. staring at myself in the mirror begging and pleading for this pain to end, time feels at a standstill. motionless time, taunting me, forcing me to wallow in my pity and pain until I feel as though I can no longer bear the weight of my tattered soul.

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time, like a free bird, flies by when I am at my best. moments of happiness and pleasure fleeting by, slipping through my fingers, always just out of reach. times of pure and unimaginable joy seem to be gone in the blink of an eye, the blink bringing the darkness that is too familiar. each blink seeming longer than the last, the fight against the darkness growing harder each time I close my eyes. a cycle i have repeated so many times i lost count. time is the luxury that i cannot seem to afford.


By Tamia Willis, sophomore psychology major

What inspires me to keep going in a world so cold is truthfully the ability to say I did it. To be able to prove that anything is possible and nothing is limited.

There are days when I feel truncated by my thoughts and unmotivated but then I remind myself of the potentials that are achievable.

I have the potential to become the best version of myself. And I am capable of achieving anything that I set my mind on.

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I have the potential to achieve growth and improvement. And with that comes improving my character. Letting go of toxic traits and allowing positive traits to lead.

I have the potential to break generational barriers. And by this it allows me to not be defined by the things that once broke me. But instead lead by moving past them.

I have the potential to become my own brand. And by this I can become the narrator of my own story. And not sit with the stories that others create of me.

I have the potential to control my thoughts from wondering. And by this it allows me not to let doubts lead my path, but instead allowing doubts to be my motivation to keep going.

I have the potential to help others around me to stay motivated and driven. And by this I have the ability to help those that seek help find their way.

I have the potential to succeed. And by this I can become anything that I desire.

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But While I Am Here

By Alyssa Nadella 

I am a writer 

I know it 

I feel it in my bones 

I am a thinker 

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an expressionist 

I feel emotions 

so strongly 

so deeply 

and when I don’t dedicate the proper time 

to process them, 

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to fully express 


it cuts me to the core. 

a part of me feels 



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it’s almost like my thoughts my opinions 

my concerns

are all being pushed up 

against a locked door 

begging to be freed 

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pleading to be released. 

they aren’t going to wait much longer, how they get out is up to me. will it be by choice or by force? 


Audre Lorde said it best, 

“We were never meant to survive”. I am a young, 


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when society made their rules, guidelines 

and regulations. 

I promise you, 

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they were not thinking about me. 

and if they were, 

the only thoughts 

that went through their minds, consisted of the ways 

that they were going to

oppress me 

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repress me 

and suppress me 

but here I am, 

slowly removing each heavy chain that they tightly wrapped around my neck. in hopes to hold me down, 

in this cold dark cell. 

I feel 

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the frigid rust 

on my hands 

and that touch 

takes me back generations. 

this is bigger than me 

my life, 

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my future, 

even the words 

I write down on this page 

it is all bigger than me 

this is for my mother, 

my father, 

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my grandmother, ` 

and great-great grandfather

this is for those 

whose DNA 

is running through my veins. thank you for persevering in order for me 

to write freely. 

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for me 

to be a young, 





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for I 

was never meant 

to survive 

but while I am here, 

I will keep the spark alive.

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Your Oldest Need

By Zoé Coker, Africana Studies

To me, it seems as if we could shaft
through these solvable waters.
Our love is soaked.
I like to believe that I remain at the
deepest end of your Love’s riverbed.
Sunken, I become your oldest need.
At shore now, you protrude
through the peak of my mundanity
and what is left is a breath
from what we could not drown.
On dry land, I leaf through fallen potpourri
in case I should find old thorns to cut through
what has banked between us.
I want a forceful blow.
For our love to bleed out again.
I cannot seem to cut myself from
any of your emblems.


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