Jenna Lê


A Very Asian Variation

I used to think that part of being Asian
was not owning a dishwasher: Dad
standing at the sink, his scouring pad
bringing the fight to contamination,
more tough and thorough at elimination
of grit and grease than any man or lad
born on U.S. soil that I’ve ever had
the chance to test. Upon my relocation
to an apartment in whose kitchen stood
one of those mythic suds machines, I worried
I’d somehow lost some of my Asian blood.
That night, I watched my worry dissipate
when, as I loaded the machine, my curried
chopsticks kept falling through the bottom grate.

Jenna Lê ( authored Six Rivers (NYQ Books, 2011) and A History of the Cetacean American Diaspora (Anchor & Plume, 2016), which won Second Place in the 2017 Elgin Awards. Her poetry has appeared in AGNI Online, The Best of the Raintown Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Los Angeles Review, and The Massachusetts Review.