Hot Plate Alley

Sometimes I would swear I can hear the ocean,
here in landlocked Wellesley,
like those nights on Short Sands in Maine,
obsessing over the word mirage
what was it, what did it mean?—
and here in this green, dry town,
the pulse of the waves pulling in and out
must be no more than my freezer
or the uncommon wind.

They used to call this street Hot Plate Alley,
sort of the slums of Wellesley.
The 93-year-old woman told me the same day
she invited me to visit her old-money house.
All of the women are lonely,
and out in Washington,
are you alone, still?

Tell me you have discovered every solution,
that you will come home with the sweet or bitter honey.

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 in journals such as The Adirondack Review, CAIRN, The Main Street Rag, and Melusine. Jennifer was nominated for a 2013 Pushcart Prize and works in the English Department at Tufts University.

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