A brief history of violence

Preeti Vangani



a.     Physical Force

Any minute the curl of his fingers

caressing a scotch glass

can round into a fist crashing//\\the spine of a wall

my father                  his love

are a complex blend 

held in oak with finishing notes

                                     of honey


b.     Self-directed

look up ‘how to kill’ >> refuse to look up >> at the ceiling fan

look up at the insects >> on the night lamp >> verify if dead

or wise with too much light


c.     Threatened or actual

All letters are odes to spaces

mother left behind. Addressed to father

never to be sent


d.     Intentional Use

The year I forgot to notice your refusals of sex

if I was the one asking. Your hunger

must only be served, never induced


e.     Deprivation

All of the above




Preeti Vangani is an MFA candidate at University of San Francisco. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in BOAAT, Public Pool, Juked, Lines+Stars, and Knicknackery. She’s a spoken word poet and has been performing at many San Francisco events, including Voz Sin Tinta and Kearny Street Workshop.