Purses

i.m. Kate Spade

When our Quiz Bowl team of eighteen-year-olds snagged
……..a berth in the finals, held in New York City,

……..my small-town Minnesotan brain cells dizzied—
at last I’d be some place that mattered. Swag

was my teammate Anne’s fixation: knockoff bags
……..peddled in Chinatown, affixed with glitzy

……..Kate Spade labels. Anne bought a sack of six,
then forgot it on the airport shuttle’s shag

seats; someone swiped it within minutes. Kate,
……..I learned a fact of womanhood that year:

even we knockoff girls, cheap, desperate
to look like someone else, to imitate

……..a finer woman, have our value; we’re
……..wanted, wanted, until we disappear.

Jenna Lê

Jenna Lê

Jenna Lê, a daughter of Vietnam War refugees, holds a B.A. in mathematics and an M.D. She lives and works as a physician and educator in New Hampshire. She is the author of two full-length poetry collections, Six Rivers (NYQ Books, 2011) and A History of the Cetacean American Diaspora (Indolent Books, 2018; 1st ed. Anchor & Plume Press, 2016), the latter of which won Second Place in the 2017 Elgin Awards.
Jenna Lê

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Author: Jenna Lê

Jenna Lê, a daughter of Vietnam War refugees, holds a B.A. in mathematics and an M.D. She lives and works as a physician and educator in New Hampshire. She is the author of two full-length poetry collections, Six Rivers (NYQ Books, 2011) and A History of the Cetacean American Diaspora (Indolent Books, 2018; 1st ed. Anchor & Plume Press, 2016), the latter of which won Second Place in the 2017 Elgin Awards.