Jessa Brown

French Lessons


some of our best talks were in French,
imperfect [,] tense,

and almost crying with the strain:
how best to really name

the way I couldn’t say how I felt,
coming close to what I couldn’t tell

with words, some bisoux in between,
but more, the busy silence of meaning [,]

something, more than I could say,
reduced to so few words, held lamely

in my mouth, ungainly pets,

then more firmly, so that they might
have sounded mine:

je suis à toi, si tu veux, peut-être

Jessa Brown has just completed the UEA Creative Writing MA in Poetry. She has recently been an Acumen Young Poet and her work has been published in The Mays anthology, the Young Writers anthology, the Brixton Review of Books and Ink Sweat and Tears. She lives in South London and is imminently releasing a suite of ecopoetry commissioned in collaboration with the Design Council for the Design for the Planet festival. She is currently finishing a pamphlet around two modernist lesbian poets who lived and wrote in rural Dorset. She is also a heritage officer for Southwark Archives in South London.

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