We have come so far, it is over.
–Sylvia Plath, “Edge”
I’m at my weakest
every autumn, most likely then
to do what I ought not
to in love, have come
hungry to the allure of folding
into bed after first frost.
I have fled toward nothing
more instinctual than it,
this seeking of cover, partnered,
in advance of winter, each single
body entwined like weak strands
that sturdy in a thread,
dead of the bleakest season
as immaterial to them as logic to a child.
When I was coiled around a dream
rising from him next to me,
white heat of desire
warming me, slowly, serpent-like,
an ember melting through snow
one cold crystal at a time,
each little fear went the way of nightmares
upon waking. I will bring him
a pitcher of milk in the morning.
He will tell me
our troubles are over now, each empty
hand held up to accept both of mine
like puzzled quadrants
of a moon. What was she
but a cold witness
to the disorder of our goodbyes,
the scarf he kept
to remember me by and how he
put it gently into his coat pocket.
I wished I could be as easily
folded back into his safekeeping,
back with the stones and shells
we stole from Orleans, all of them
summering in sand and salt,
back into the contract
only the moon ever sealed.
I envy her stubborn constancy,
to a barren body.
Jennifer LeBlanc earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University. Her first full-length book, Descent, was published by Finishing Line Press (2020) and was named a Distinguished Favorite in Poetry (2021) by the Independent Press Award. Individual poems have been published or are forthcoming in journals such as Consequence, Solstice, The Adirondack Review, CAIRN, The Main Street Rag, and Melusine. Jennifer is a poetry reader for Kitchen Table Quarterly.