What’s New?

by Jenna Le

Oh, moved to Italy,
developed a pineapple allergy,
aborted a fetus,
got bunions,
learned to bake ziti,
forgot cursive,
was served divorce papers,
sold the designer sandals he bought me,
stopped getting pedicures,
after a mourning period of six months
started getting pedicures again
but they made my toenails feel like little postage stamps
on envelopes marked “return to sender,”
slowly lost my ability
to hear very high pitches
while the holes in my earlobes closed up
after I stopped wearing earrings,
singed an eyebrow trying a new fondue recipe
but it grew back,
made friends with a newspaper delivery boy
because he reminded me of my grandfather,
was laid off,
was rehired for less pay,
had a tumor removed from my left thumb,
the fleshy part at the base, but it was benign,
thank God,
had a hysterosalpingogram,
learned I could never have kids,
learned Japanese,
learned my mother’s favorite poem by heart,
it’s by Walt Whitman,
I can recite it for you right now if you like.
Oh, you have to rush off? Well, see you again
soon, I hope; don’t be a stranger.


Jenna Le, a daughter of Vietnamese refugees, lives and works as a physician and educator in the Upper Connecticut River Valley region of New Hampshire. She is the author of two full-length poetry collections, Six Rivers (NYQ Books, 2011) and A History of the Cetacean American Diaspora (published by Indolent Books, 2018). Her poetry has appeared in AGNI Online, The Best of the Raintown Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Denver Quarterly, The Los Angeles Review, and Massachusetts Review. Her website is jennalewriting.com.