Your patience with me is like a sun pumping a motor,
drawing out the health in the fruit until it is ready to be ripe.
We go to the theater that decorates with owls.
Even the sconces on the wall are die-cut birds,
light coming through like a candle in a Jack-o-Lantern,
but it is still summer, the heat of July.
We have nothing to be ashamed of.
The owls have wide, suspicious eyes.
The bathroom is a lurid blue,
lit up like the future in the movie
where Ryan Gosling and his wife
can’t ease or struggle into their correct lives.
It will not be the same with us.
Our valentine is not tragic.
It is red, it is the zest of the lemon
you showed me how to prepare, your patience,
as when waiting halfway through the movie
before wrapping your arm around my shoulder
and I thought it was like walking out into the sun
after three years of huddling in a cool, dark cave,
and my heart pumping, a motor.

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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