Amy LeBlanc

The wasting sickness

The mourned body knows
a fast that can keep
to the tick of a clock
on a punch drunk mouth,
the gristle between teeth
or the hands of a watch
on a bird boned wrist.

The weary body knows
we long to settle in our skin.

The lust on the tongue
and the backs of our hands,
the rust in our glands
our bones and our clocks,
each summons a cipher
we already knew:
the hollow stomach
can be laced like meadow rue.

Good Mothers

We discovered the bones of our mother
when we lifted dust and clay
from the skin of her mattress.

Beneath quilted seams and floral duvets
we found thoracic vertebrae and a sternum
that used to hold our bathwater and our oatmeal.

Her bones held the mornings
when the snow licked
the hood of our car.

We didn’t know about bone articulation
or framing hips with flesh,
but we knew her marrow
was really the pulp
of old letters with inked notes.

We laid her bones on the bed
in the shape of a constellation,
joints connecting joints,
her lines and dots lifting
from the pleated page.

We laid down in her waist
and set to work, reassembling
vowels and consonants
into strings of glass
to line our mother’s ribcage.

Amy LeBlanc holds a BA (Hons) in English Literature and creative writing from the University of Calgary. She is currently non-fiction editor at filling Station magazine. Her work has appeared, or is scheduled to appear in Room, Prairie Fire, Contemporary Verse 2, and EVENT among others. Amy won the 2018 BrainStorm Poetry Contest for her poem 'Swell'. She is the author of two chapbooks, most recently Ladybird, Ladybird published with Anstruther Press in August 2018.