Courtney LeBlanc


Each morning I pull myself from the depths
of sleep, my brain still underwater as I brush
my teeth and grab the Xanax for my dog’s
early morning anxiety. I pry open her jaws
and she chews the smelly pill pocket before
putting her head back down on the oversized
pillow she calls a bed. While the drug begins
its slow path through her body I sip my soy
latte, check email. I go for a run, my muscles
loose in the humidity. When I return I wake her 
and she walks, does her business, and we return 
to the safety of the house. Every morning the same, 
the routine a metronome. Once I dreamt I lost her, 
my throat raw from screaming her name, my nails 
ragged from tearing at them with my teeth. I woke 
crying, crawled onto the overstuffed pillow, curled 
around her like a comma. Now, she sleeps splayed 
out across the rug in my office, tired from our afternoon 
hike. I lie down beside her, run my hands down her 
muscled body. She turns and licks my face. If you asked 
me what I meant by happiness I would say this.

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