She boils the thighbones of her cattle
until they give like gelatin
when she prods them with
a rough-grained wooden spoon.
Sprinkles silver
powder in the fuming cauldron.  Stirs.
Ulysses, crouched behind a barrel,
spies on the witch as she brews
in her overheated
dark kitchen.
The windows are draped with
black velvet:
there is scarcely enough
light to see by.  Circe’s eyes gleam red.
She is sweating like a green hill
the dew has drenched.
Her skirt so short,
he can see her rump
when she makes abrupt moves.
Muscled arms bare, she plunges
the long spoon
into the eye of the hurricane
she’s cooked up.  She spreads
the stuff, like butter, on a glass plate.
By now,
both the woman and the man
feel so hot,
they feel just about ready to hallucinate.

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JENNA LE, a second-generation Vietnamese-American born and raised just outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota, holds a B.A. in mathematics from Harvard University and an M.D. from Columbia University. She has worked as a physician in Queens and the Bronx, New York. She is the author of Six Rivers (NYQ Books, 2011), which was a Small Press Distribution Poetry Bestseller, and A History of the Cetacean American Diaspora (forthcoming from Anchor & Plume Press on February 29, 2016). Her poetry, fiction, essays, book criticism, and poetry translations from the French appear or are forthcoming in AGNI Online, Asian American Literary Review, Bellevue Literary Review, The Best of the Raintown Review, Crab Orchard Review, The Los Angeles Review, Massachusetts Review, Measure, Mezzo Cammin, PANK, The Village Voice, and elsewhere. She has been a guest poetry editor for Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, an editorial assistant for the New York Quarterly, and an editorial board member of the Pharos. When not busy reading, writing, or doctoring, she enjoys drawing, savoring a hot cup of tea (no milk or sugar, please!), and playing Boggle with friends and/or strangers on the internet.

One response to “The Invention of Photography”

  1. […] poems and translations of French poetry have been published by Barrow Street, The Brooklyn Rail, The Nervous Breakdown, Post Road, The Raintown Review, Salamander, Sycamore Review, and other […]

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