Poetry Archive

The White Night Shirt

Tide-scented, thrice folded, top of pile,
she returns to me at night, pulls
my soft, sagging mouth down her head
and lies down, buffing with her hand
my print — a cream and red cottage
nesting on her chest. Her mother
bought me full-price from the city’s first
Westside and now she’s had me longer
than she did her mother. It is winter
in the picture, we can tell because snow
is all over, except not as flakes or crystals
but lush, comical apples. So many apples —
filling up her dormant arms, polka dotting
her hemline, sliced off on her neck —
as if Newton was hailed on by one too many
ideas at once, the plurality of such impossible
weight flattening him before gravity could.
This is how grief falls on her.

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Filed under: Poetry Archive


Preeti Vangani is an Indian poet & personal essayist. She is the author of Mother Tongue Apologize (RLFPA Editions), her first book of poems ( winner of RL India Poetry Prize.) Her work has been published in BOAAT, Gulf Coast, Threepenny Review among other journals. She is the Poetry Editor for Glass, a Poet Mentor at Youth Speaks and holds an MFA (Writing) from University of San Francisco.