Jenna Le


A Foray into Particle Physics

Today my doctor lowered
my medication dose
by half, and so I poured
my little lozenge hoard
onto a cutting board
and tried to chop each hard
pink tablet in two shards
of equal size or close.
This aim was grandiose:
the tablets were not scored
or notched, but smooth; what’s more,
their wee size made my most
honed knife blade seem quite gross,
too clumsy to just coast
to guaranteed reward.
What does this prove, O Lord?
It merely is a datum
that cannot be ignored,
but which I must record,
showing pills cannot be split
up into smaller bits,
and therefore it is fit
we redefine the atom.

Jenna Le ( is the author of Six Rivers (NYQ Books, 2011) and A History of the Cetacean American Diaspora (Indolent Books, 2018), which won Second Place in the Elgin Awards. She was selected by Marilyn Nelson as winner of Poetry By The Sea’s inaugural sonnet competition and selected by Julie Kane as winner of Poetry By The Sea’s sonnet crown competition the following year. Her poetry appears in Los Angeles Review, Massachusetts Review, Verse Daily, West Branch, and elsewhere.