First Punch

By Courtney LeBlanc


Before you label me slut / bitch / cunt know this: he told me

he was single and she should have used his body

for a punching bag the way he’d used mine

for pleasure. I didn’t see it coming, didn’t see her

fist flying toward my face like a stone. I was lucky

I was fast, turning enough for her fist to glance off

my cheekbone instead of landing square. And then

I was out the door, feet propelling me down

the dark street. He caught up to me several blocks later, offered

to drive me home. When he rolled to a stop in front of my house

he asked to come in, he wanted inside me again. My head

ached, my cheek swollen but not yet turning the pale green

of a sunset. I reared back and threw my first punch, landed my fist

square to his nose, left him bleeding in the front seat.


Courtney LeBlanc is the author of “Beautiful & Full of Monsters” (Vegetarian Alcoholic Press), and chapbooks “All in the Family” (Bottlecap Press) and “The Violence Within” (Flutter Press). She has her MBA from University of Baltimore and her MFA from Queens University of Charlotte. She loves nail polish, wine, and tattoos. Read her publications on her blog, and follow her on Twitter @wordperv and Instagram @wordperv79

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