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Death Anniversary

After your suicide by drowning,
the whales refrained from beaching
on this coast for one thousand mornings.
But some scores cannot be evened.

The First Time I Saw the Sea

The first boy that I dated weighted down his coif
with so much hair gel that the crest atop his pate
was hard as horses’ teeth. But the first man I loved
had curls so soft and yielding, sea-wind seemed to sit
nestled at all times in their depths.

I asked him, once, to drive me to a beach. I hoped
to see hot conch-strewn sand unfurl before my vision
like a bronze sarong warmed by the body it once draped.
But the beach he drove me to was stone-gray and snow-ribboned,
its seashells sparse and small as grapes.

Jenna Le is the author of Six Rivers (NYQ Books, 2011), which was a Small Press Distribution Bestseller, and A History of the Cetacean American Diaspora (forthcoming from Anchor and Plume Press, 2016). Her poetry, fiction, criticism, and translations appear or are forthcoming in AGNI Online, Bellevue Literary Review, The Best of the Raintown Review, Crab Orchard Review, The Los Angeles Review, Massachusetts Review, The Village Voice, and elsewhere. She holds a B.A. in Mathematics and an M.D. and works as a physician in New York.

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