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Monday, April 06, 2020


by Jenna Le

Magnolias, long-fingered like a thief,
their knuckles purple fading to pale pink
toward their fingertips, reach out to stir
the robin’s-egg-blue basin of the sky,

to swirl their fingers lazily around
inside that bright dyed blueness. What’s a leaf?
they seem to murmur, What can leaves be worth
when we have petals silky as a sigh,

luxurious as a glove in hours when grief
will pace the halls of hospitals bare-handed?
I struggle to make sense of this motif,
this efflorescence out of season, blur

of muchness where so much has been cut brief.
I hope it’s hope that I’m meant to infer.

Jenna Le is the author of Six Rivers (NYQ Books, 2011) and A History of the Cetacean American Diaspora (Indolent Books, 2017), a Second Place winner in the Elgin Awards. She was selected by Marilyn Nelson as winner of Poetry By The Sea’s inaugural sonnet competition and by Julie Kane as winner of Poetry By The Sea’s sonnet crown competition the following year. Her poetry appears or is forthcoming in AGNI, Denver Quarterly, Los Angeles Review, Massachusetts Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Pleiades, Poet Lore, and West Branch