Inner Life

Ariana Reines

Those tweets I sent about Duke Ellington

While my mom was being evicted again

According to what ethics under the sun

Can I possibly have been speaking? A

Kind of private feeling I can’t even place here

Like a rock on a tomb or the thank-you

Gift of a guest whose plane leaves long

Before dawn


I feel the little school of minnows

In me changing direction, wavering

Pieces of consciousness eloquently

Describing to me giving up on the thought

Of ever reaching you


Then setting to feeding

On something closer by

An approximation of what

We could have had

One that asks less

Of me. One that asks nothing

Of you.


I put the device back in my pocket & keep walking

Bibliographical info

Ariana Reines, “INNER LIFE” from A sand book. Copyright © 2019 by Ariana Reines. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.

Source: A sand book (Tin House Books, 2019)


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