Courtney LeBlanc

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Ode to My Vibrator

Thank you, you beautiful pink bullet, you humming
toy of joy. Thank you for the small satin bag you came
in, your desire to travel easily, your discretion.
Thank you for your multiple settings,
for your push-button ease. Thank you for convenient
USB charging capability. Thank you for always finding
my spot, for not demanding foreplay or cuddling
after, for not being upset if I don’t moan or call out
your name. Thank you for letting me fall asleep
immediately and for not hogging the best pillow.
Thank you for your endless give, for never making
me return the favor, for my satisfaction being your
only job. Thank you.

Playing House

I never had a tea party as a child, never
sat my dolls in a circle, poured invisible
tea into tiny plastic cups, never fed
imaginary morsels of food to Sue,
my Cabbage Patch doll. Just wasn’t
my preferred game of pretend.
Instead, my Barbie lay naked
on top of Ken, a blanket pulled
discreetly over them. This was sex,
this was playing house.

Thirty years later I snap pictures of dinners
I prepare: parmesan-crusted chicken
with roasted veggies, kale and Italian sausage
gnocchi and send them to him with an
invitation: Join me for dinner? He never
can. Dinner for three would be awkward.
When we fuck the blanket is flung off, kicked
to the floor – no need to hide. I’m still
playing house, still pretending this world
could be real.

Song List for the Mix Tape I Will Never Give My Lover

Side A

#1: A song that captures the drop in my stomach the first time you touched me.
That feeling that sprung into my belly when I hopped out of your car and you took my hand. As if you knew I wanted you to touch me. As if you knew by the end of the night we’d lie tangled in bed, skin slick with sweat.

#2: A song about how I touch myself and think of you when we’re apart.
The music fast and furious, the intensity that mimics our fucking, the way you pull my hair when you’re behind me, how your fingers slip inside the wet of me till I beg you for more. How I am always hungry for you. Your hands. Your mouth. Your hard cock.

#3: A song in which everything is a metaphor for our complicated relationship.
Something with edgy lyrics about timing, something full of clichés but so damn catchy you can’t help but sing along.

#4: A song that lets you know this isn’t just lust.
Because it’s not just about the fucking, despite song #2. It’s also about watching the sunset together and holding your hand and that time I took care of you when you had a temperature of 101, even though I had to get on a plane and even though I knew I’d end up sick with your cold.

#5: A song for all the times I can’t respond to you.
A slow pining ballad because while I try to communicate well I can’t always – sometimes I’m busy at work or with my husband or my dog or the time difference means you’re awake when I’m asleep and I’m awake when you’re asleep and so our conversations become stilted with niceties or reduced to pictures of body parts.

Side B

#1: A song about how this will end.
You and I are an impossibility, a dangerous game that will not move past what it currently is. I’ll end things and be grateful to have survived mostly unscathed. There will be few tears and we’ll pretend to keep in touch for a little while and then, you’ll fade away and I’ll go back to my life and it’ll be like it never happened.

#2: A song about how I’ll always ache for you.
Just a little. I’ll play the what if game when I’m alone at night and I’ll be tempted to contact you but I won’t.

#3: A song about guilt.
How it wrecks me.

#4: A country song that drips with sadness.
You refuse to put expectations on me, on us, on our relationship and I’m left uncertain. And that’s worse than if you were angry that I can’t be with you or jealous I don’t go to bed with you each night. It means that through this whole affair I’m not sure you could love me. It means I wonder what’s the point of it all?     


Courtney LeBlanc is the author of the chapbooks All in the Family (Bottlecap Press) and The Violence Within (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, Quail Bell Magazine, Brain Mill Press, Haunted Waters Press, and others. She loves nail polish, wine, and tattoos. Read her blog at, follow her on twitter: @wordperv, or find her on facebook: