Who was the first to decide to capture
a boat in a bottle, to build and string
together a mast, the sails, to keep
the bow from breaking against the glass?
Who tried to contain an ocean in a jar
that once housed beer or mead or wine?
Once, I collected sea glass, filled a bowl
with the muted green and white and blue,
searched for the coveted red pieces.
Once, I lived on an island and gave
a man my salt water heart. He tangled
his hands in my seaweed hair, pressed
his ocean mouth against mine. I crashed
into his shores again and again, beat
myself blue against his rocks. When
I left, he smashed the bottle, set
the small boat adrift. On the deck
of the ship, a sliver of red, the glass
of my heart, set to sea.
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 a winner of the Jack McCarthy book prize and her next collection of poetry will be published by Write Bloody in spring 2023. 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: www.wordperv.com. Follow her on Twitter: @wordperv, and IG: @wordperv79.