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  • Avertissement, and: Wisp, and: V’là qui vaout, and: Prose, and: Averr, and: Embed
  • Genève Chao (bio)


I never promised you a je ne t’ai rien promis

je t’ai laissé I left you in drought

une sécheresse absolue

this absence this silence [End Page 102]


Remnants of other tongues remained in her body

sometimes leaping out like foreign ghosts [End Page 103]

V’là qui vaout

too late desire propelled him to a pigsty

too late the lust in handsful of cress and rocket

scraps stolen to batten

a stranger on a rock [End Page 104]


stiffening for the necessary lash

& mindful of every moment a failure

je tiens toujours mes

to her waiting eyes

lies, in a prayer that this distant heart still be

heard to you [End Page 105]


to wake in the place dreamed of

she walked a mile and another

crossed hills to mountains to have

fait un rêve made a promise

over every ridge the absent coast

brutal et absolu [End Page 106]


after a space of years a shape pressed in the mattress

a memory of heavy sleep des rêves inespérés unhoped-for

habit hardens habitude to coutûme our custom

softens shells to shed

so tender skin when sudden suspicion

bleu bruise [End Page 107]

Genève Chao

Genève/Geneva Chao’s books include one of us is wave one of us is shore (Otis, 2016) and Hillary is Dreaming (Make Now, 2016). Chao’s work is also forthcoming in The Best American Experimental Writing 2018 anthology. Chao's next collection, émigré, is coming from Tinfish Press in 2018.



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pp. 102-107
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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