Courtney LeBlanc

Courtney LeBlanc is the author of Beautiful & Full of Monsters (forthcoming from Vegetarian Alcoholic Press), chapbooks All in the Family (Bottlecap Press) and The Violence Within (Flutter Press), and a Pushcart Prize nominee. She has her MBA from University of Baltimore and her MFA from Queens University of Charlotte. She loves nail polish, wine, and tattoos. Read her publications on her blog: Follow her on twitter: @wordperv, and IG: @wordperv79.



While Asleep



Ingredients litter the counter as my mother

bakes. I ask what she’s making

and she turns to me, shows me the bowl:

it’s filled with fingers and toes, all roughly

hacked off. I notice her hands, bloody

stumps where her digits once were.

I wake screaming.



His fingers and tongue are deep inside,

grinding into the wet of me. My hands

hold his head, my fingers clutching his

hair. I pull him up to my mouth, taste

myself. I wake, my body pulsing. I reach

down and make myself moan.



My father’s eyes are sewn shut, his body

still in the gleaming casket. I sit in the front

row, eyes swollen. My father sits up, his

unseeing eyes searching. He turns in my

direction, buries his hands into his own

abdomen and pull out his kidney, gray

and cyst-filled. He says nothing, his mouth

sewn shut but I don’t need his words. I wake

up, my healthy kidneys aching inside me.



I hear the crack – thunder? A car backing

up? The room has no windows and the doors

have disappeared, absorbed into the walls.

A gunman appears, walking through

the wall, an unholy apparition. I open

my mouth just as he lifts the gun, pulls

the trigger. My heart screams in my chest

when I wake.



I’m lying in a field of flowers – they’re just

blurs of color and petal, the scent mimics

the vanilla perfume I bought in Paris,

the sweet muskiness I dabbed on my wrists,

behind my ears. when I wake the scent lingers.