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Two poems by Courtney LeBlanc

Snails & Stars

Snails can sleep for up to three months

which I think just makes them depressed

but we aren’t always good about acknowledging

depression in people so are we capable

of recognizing it in other creatures? I doubt it.

My best friend has suffered from severe

depression for more than twenty years.

She tells me she can’t imagine living

another forty years feeling like this. I don’t want

to die, she says, I just want to go to sleep

forever. I tell her about the snail and suggest

she’ll be one in her next life. Her psychiatrist

changes her meds, her therapist suggests

magnet therapy, I pour her another glass,

the bubbles streaking by like shooting stars.

Last year, a friend took a bottle of pills and went

to sleep. At his memorial we watched

the slideshow, his smiling face in every frame,

the galaxy of his friends spilling onto the lawn.

We are a constellation of caring, but we were not

enough to save him. My best friend and I sit

on the couch, two dogs curled between us,

content as snails in their shells. I’ve known

her for over half my life. I want her for double that.

Last Night I Dreamed

I traveled back in time

to 2007, to a time when

we were still together

and I could fix all

that went wrong between

us. In my dream I tried

to decide if I wanted to save us,

if the you of then and the me of then

were what I wanted, if the life we built

was enough to hold me happy.

Before I could decide: fix or let break,

address or let fester, I woke up,

my dog's warm nose pressing

into my hand, my husband's arm heavy

across my waist, the day quietly

breaking against the dark.

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.

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