We carry our lipstick which we always forget
to reapply after dinner. We carry our keys,
clutched between fingers like brass knuckles.
We carry our empty wallets and the tears from the angry
phone call with our mothers. We carry condoms
and when those break we carry Plan B. We carry
our pride and our shame and the diet pills that made our hearts
race but damn girl, look at these thin thighs. We carry the last
Post-It note he left on the mirror and we carry the receipt
from therapy. We carry the eyeliner smudged from last night’s
drinks and ibuprofen for today’s hangover. We carry the crystals
to ward off evil, to bring luck, to add heft and make our bag
a weapon. We carry the fortune we got on that good date
with the blond who seemingly lost our number the next morning.
We carry the crumpled business card from the guy who bought
drinks even after we said no thanks. We carry our best friend
when she loses the baby. We carry the cost of our birth control
when our employer’s insurance refused to pay. We carry the rent
check, the student loan debt, the grocery bill. We carry our hearts
when they got too muddied on our sleeves. We carry flip-flops
to slip onto our feet after a long day in heels. We carry cardigans after
being told our shoulders were too provocative. We carry the fingerprint bruises
and the I ran into the door excuses. We carry it all, the heavy world
digging into our shoulders and slumping our backs.
Courtney LeBlanc is the author of the chapbook All in the Family (Bottlecap Press) and is an MFA candidate at Queens University of Charlotte. Her poetry is published or forthcoming in Public Pool, Rising Phoenix Review, The Legendary, Germ Magazine, Glass, Brain Mill Press, and others. She loves nail polish, wine, and tattoos. Read her blog at www.wordperv.com, follow her on twitter: www.twitter.com/wordperv, or find her on facebook: www.facebook.com/poetry.CourtneyLeBlanc.