February 18, 2022

by Courtney LeBlanc


I cannot           stop

collecting recipes, an unexpected

replica of my mother / counting

calories          seeing     every

bite an act I need to     undo / loving

cherry blossoms that rain down

each spring, a torrent of pink petals

falling / or burying

my nose in the lilacs that rim

my neighbor’s fence / I cannot


thinking my body would be     better

if there were less

                        of it

I           cannot talk

politics without getting angry / cannot

do a crossword or win Scrabble

         despite       my extensive

vocabulary / keep

            a houseplant alive

I              can

cook and bake and tell you the exact

calories in a brownie / a carrot / my morning

soy latte / Can run ten

                        hike twenty

                        walk thirty

miles / can spend the day

with a book and           never

be bored / I can tell you I love

              my dogs

more than anything else / I can

     no longer                survive

on little sleep but also      can no longer

sleep in / I can tell you

who I am but not

          who I want to be



Courtney LeBlanc is the author of the full length collections Exquisite Bloody, Beating Heart (Riot in Your Throat) and Beautiful & Full of Monsters (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press). She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of Riot in Your Throat, an independent poetry press. She loves nail polish, tattoos, and a soy latte each morning. Read her publications on her blog: Follow her on twitter: @wordperv, and IG: @wordperv79.