I kicked you out
of my heart, pushed
you out
the door before you could
settle in. Once
you were gone, bags
carried, one in each hand,
I boarded
up the windows, covered
the empty space
with plywood, padlocked
the door – made certain
you couldn’t
find your way
back inside.
That space
sat empty for so long
I forgot
it existed till another wanted
it. Slowly, I scrapped off
the rust, found
the key for that thick lock,
pried loose the    nails.
I swept the dust
from the floors, cleared
the cobwebs from the corners
just as he walked in. He smiled
as he looked around, surveyed
the cavernous room
within my heart.
I think I’ll stay.


I’m sitting on the second floor
balcony, the day slowly waking
around me as I sip my coffee
and read.
I’m here
for the weekend, a writing retreat
deep in the foliage
of Virginia, a place with limited
internet and no cell signal.
I didn’t tell you
I would be silent all weekend,
preferring instead to slip away
I’m slowly unraveling
you from my life. Perhaps
it would be easier to end it abruptly,
the ripping off of a Band-Aid – quick
and complete – but instead
I am teasing
back the sticky tape of you, slowly
removing the gummy residue
of you from my skin. This silent
weekend is the start, the quiet
determination to be done with you
settling in, the bruised heart beneath
the Band-Aid slowly healing.


I’d forgotten how lucky I am to have you. It’s so easy
to focus on life’s daily annoyances – you never

vacuum unless I ask, your eyes blind
to the dirt ringing the carpet – that I forget your love

is a garden I must tend. My farmer-father plants
an acre-large garden; since retiring he doesn’t know

what to do with his free time so he does
what he’s always done: makes magic

with his hands, the black soil growing
8-foot tall sunflowers and more cucumbers

than my mother can pickle. This year I planted
my first garden – rosemary, basil, tomatoes,

peppers, and cucumbers – the dirt contained
in boxes along the fence. I was ecstatic

with the offerings from my tiny plot; you made
your Oma’s cucumber salad, the one she never

wrote down but you somehow replicated.
I diced tomatoes, plucked basil leaves, offered

it up to you on a plate. Here, eat my love.

Courtney LeBlanc is the author of the chapbooks All in the Family (Bottlecap Press) and The Voilence Within (Flutter Press), a Pushcart Prize nominee, and an MFA candidate at Queens University of Charlotte. Her poetry is published or forthcoming in Public Pool, Rising Phoenix Review, The Legendary, Germ Magazine, Quail Bell Magazine, Brain Mill Press, Haunted Waters Press, and others. She loves nail polish, wine, and tattoos. Follow her on Twitter: @wordperv, and IG: wordperv79.