Looking Back at Monet's Water Lilies
a river from nowhere to nowhere fills up the body
of the frame, makes its way through weeping
willow, reeds, irises. red, yellow and pink accents
sit shyly atop lily pads like a bunch of ladies trying
outrageous hats on a weekday afternoon at a store.
unlike the reticent brightness, the blue is brave
and limitless here. the blue of the sky and the blue
of the water are one, the way there is no one answer
I can point to as the source of my unsolidified
sadness. on the back of this postcard a lover has dotted
his many I's as an afterthought, each point a hat tip to haste
or to the brink of forgetting. it matters how we make
our points. Monet, for example, just with little brilliant spots
births entire lilies. only in the presence of the numberless water
lilies, like tiny misgivings of numerous lovers, do we realize
that this scape is a reflection. understand that he planted
an actual garden, diverted a river, before he painted it. that this
is the moment in which I swim through all your features that I sowed
in my memory-bed: the birthmark behind your ear, the note
you sing too high, the sureness of your right hand around the line
of my waist and turn them into blurred impressions. I observe
every big and every little idea of us and carve it into shadow.
Preeti Vangani is an Indian poet & essayist. Her work has been published in BOAAT, Buzzfeed, Noble/Gas Qtrly, 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 by RLFPA Editions in February 2019. She owes her MFA to the University of San Francisco.
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