Submission Guidelines: Send unpublished poems in the body of an email (NO ATTACHMENTS) to nvneditor[at] No simultaneous submissions. Use "Verse News Submission" as the subject line. Send a brief bio. No payment. Authors retain all rights after 1st-time appearance here. Scroll down the right sidebar for the fine print.

Monday, June 20, 2022


by Jenna Le

“Flickering” Box with Sprinkled Design of Jellyfish, 2020, by Yoshio Okada

Wood box decorated with
gold and silver lacquer
on a polished black lacquer ground
with shell inlays and shell overlays
depicting the coin and ribboned-hat shapes
of jellyfish, 

those invertebrates prophesied
to engulf the ocean entire
if climate change continues unchecked: 

if this is how we must die,
well, Yoshio,
this wood box of yours
would at least make a beautiful coffin

Jenna Le is the author of Six Rivers (NYQ Books, 2011); A History of the Cetacean American Diaspora (Indolent Books, 2017), a Second Place winner in the Elgin Awards; and Manatee Lagoon (forthcoming from Acre Books, October 2022). Her poetry appears in AGNI, Denver Quarterly, Los Angeles Review, Massachusetts Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Pleiades, Poet Lore, Verse Daily, and West Branch