Courtney LeBlanc


We’ve become voyeurs
            to her grief. In a sea of muted
colors we listen, tears sliding down pink cheeks
as she sings
            the softest elegy
                        for her dead-too-young husband.
We wait
for her voice  to break
                         to crack
                         to waiver
                                                but it doesn’t,
she holds
            the notes       strong                 till the end,
then walks away
from the mic.
I don’t see her again, lose her
                        to the tsunami of the crowd,
            swallowing her and her sons, their blond
heads disappearing before
                        I can push
                                    my own condolences
into her hands.         I can’t sing—not
tone deaf but don’t try
                                    to stay on-key. Instead
I would read a poem and my voice
            would probably        break,
No one would find me the perfect widow.
I know she     breaks
sobs, screams, rages, swears, cries, begs
            but none of this is witnessed.
I would not be
                         this contained.
I would be      messy,
give the voyeurs the show they were
            secretly craving.


Courtney LeBlanc is the author of Beautiful & Full of Monsters (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press), chapbooks All in the Family (Bottlecap Press) and The Violence Within (Flutter Press). She has her MBA from University of Baltimore and her MFA from Queens University of Charlotte. She loves nail polish, tattoos, and a soy latte each morning.

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