Preeti Vangani is a poet & personal essayist. Her work has been published in BOAAT, Juked, Gulf Coast, Threepenny Review among other journals. She is the winner of the RL Poetry Award 2017 and her debut book of poems titled Mother Tongue Apologize was published in Feb 2019 (RLFPA Editions). She holds an MFA from the University of San Francisco.
(today is a promising preview)
After Lucille Clifton
today is a promising preview
the day arrives, rheum at the corner
of its eyes, then a sudden light
the morning, soap-white and silent
eager to listen to us as if we are a cackle
of a weak radio frequency
everything takes a small, definite inhale for us
the family portrait on the nightstand
the vaporizer with lemongrass
the toaster, its amber warmth
the city’s hills, their distant bends
like a friend on the other side
waving her hand at us
the ocean births infinite surfs
for one wave to reach our tired feet
the joy we cannot feel just yet
is finding its way to us.
Nights when my business
school is drunk on power
points and black market
beer, I jog by the cold Sabarmati
and catch a breath under a lamp post, plastered
with moths. I clap and stomp to see what brings
them down. I statue myself to find the heart
of their hiccup-long stillness.
I call them middle class constellations.
I call them winged insomniacs.
My life at best is a summation
of templated escape routes. My waking
dream a triangulated runway from home
to classroom to conference room.
I am the perfect brochure smile
for placements season. I tabulate
take home packages and benefit slabs.
Hallucinated by salaried kaleidoscopes
I trot along with bug like consciousness
mistaking every light for the moon.
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