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 JENNA LE was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the youngest child of two Vietnam War refugees. She left the Midwest at age eighteen to study first at Harvard University and then at Columbia University, earning degrees in mathematics and medicine, respectively. She has worked as a physician in Queens, New York, and the Bronx, New York. Jenna’s first full-length collection of poetry, Six Rivers, was published by New York Quarterly Books in August 2011. Her poems and translations of poetry have appeared in Asia Literary Review, Barrow Street, The Brooklyn Rail, Gargoyle, Post Road, Salamander, and other literary journals. In 2011, she won the Minnetonka Review Editor's Prize and was nominated for the PEN American Center’s Emerging Writers Award. Currently a Manhattanite, Jenna is thrilled to live in the same magical city where Patti Smith met Robert Mapplethorpe, where Leonard Cohen picked up Janis Joplin in an elevator, and where there have always been and will always be people who are excited about books.

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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