Jenna Le


Of Waists and Glands

(With apologies to Eliot)

November was a grueling month, feeding
my little one out of my sore breasts, bleeding
lochia out of my torn flesh, needing
sleep (out of the question). Mixing
hemorrhoids and hormones,
lumpiness and leakiness, throb and twinge,
grapefruit and grindstone. Slurring
our speech with ceaseless drowse, blurring
our sight with constant blear, brains whirring
with phantasmagoric dreams during
even a three-minute nap.
Family kept us sane, shoveling
dinner in our forgetful mouths, delivering
a margherita pizza with savory fries.

Jenna Le ( is the author of Six Rivers (NYQ Books, 2011); A History of the Cetacean American Diaspora (Indolent Books, 2017), an Elgin Awards Second Place winner, voted on by the international membership of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association; and Manatee Lagoon (Acre Books, 2022). She was selected by Marilyn Nelson as winner of Poetry By The Sea’s inaugural sonnet competition. A daughter of Vietnamese refugees, she has a B.A. in math and an M.D. and works as a physician in New York City.