Two Poems by Courtney LeBlanc







I’ve got insomnia

again. I lay awake

for hours, listening

to the fan whirl

as my thoughts swim

round and round to you.

You’re six hours

behind so when I can’t

sleep we text, the quiet

pinging of your incoming

message the whale song

I listen for. We tread

carefully but each message

has an undercurrent. We wade

deeper into these waters, aware

of the rip tide threatening below.

I split my life between two

oceans, split my body between

two pairs of hands – floating

toward the current, my heart

underwater, the hands

capable of saving

or drowning me.


His voice is a storm

I’ve learned to weather.

He lives in a state of tornado

watches and hurricane warnings.

The sun hidden by storm

clouds for so long my skin

has grown pale and translucent.

A ghost-girl growing cold,

my blue blood pumping slowly.


I zip up my raincoat, my parka,

my all-weather jacket. I brace

myself for the torrent

of words and rage he’ll throw

at me. The anger raining down,

stinging my skin, invisible

cuts that will never quite heal

but will sing with pain every

time lightning strikes.


I’ve started seeking shelter elsewhere,

finding warmth and words from another

mouth. His hands never curl into thunder-

fists, his tongue never spins

an uncontrolled storm. I shed

my layers, find the sun in his skin.

Lay content in his clear skies.


Courtney LeBlanc is the author of the chapbooks All in the Family (Bottlecap Press) and The Violence Within (forthcoming, Flutter Press) and is an MFA candidate at Queens University of Charlotte. Her poetry is published or forthcoming in Public Pool, Rising Phoenix Review, The Legendary, Germ Magazine, Glass, Brain Mill Press, and others. She loves nail polish, wine, and tattoos. Read her blog at, follow her on twitter: @wordperv, or find her on facebook:

Image by Warrenlead69 (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


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