JENNA LE

Ghazal

 

When I get home, the kitchen floor’s been buffed. I shamble into Marvin’s study:

“Thank you for cleaning.” He nods, smiles. Darkly, I think: He just wants to get lucky.

 

You’re young; you don’t know what I mean. Oh, how can I explain the masculine mind?

Let’s talk of other things. Is payday here yet? Bet you’re dying to get your money.

 

Hard to believe that I was once your age, stuffed like a turkey with kook thoughts.

I thought my art would change the world. I thought true love would change my life. A turkey!

 

Don’t tell your mom we talked about this stuff, OK? I sometimes need to vent,

is all. I sometimes need a trip to France, is all. Some days beg beers, and early.

 

Let’s toss some cornbread to those birds. See how they gulp the crumbs up, then turn tail.

Once they get their wages, they don’t stick around to chat. If you’re smart, you’ll never get married.

 

New Hampshire-based Vietnamese American poet 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* (Anchor and Plume Press, 2016). Her poetry, fiction, essays, criticism, and translations appear 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.