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Science Fiction

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Just now I touched my chest
And felt my heart quivering there.
This must be one of the bad times.
I think it is quivering with remorse
And exhaustion. Once I saw a heart
Beating in a documentary. I was a very
Little girl and the sight disgusted me.
Throbbing and not stopping my heart betrays
Me and yet remains sure and true, a thing
Of nature. Earth bleeding
Its guts out on the sea floor exhausts
Me with remorse and shame, and yet I have to trust it
As wealth is proven by how terribly it devastates
Itself, and I am but one symptom among billions of the wealth
Of Earth. A tired feeling that is recuperated by a passing spaceship
Or an infinitude like fame but more universal. I will have to miss you
Earth; I miss you already. And yet when I touch myself whom I should
Not trust it is still only the heaviest and most jealous feelings that bind me to you, like blood.

Ariana Reines, “Science Fiction” from Mercury, published by Fence Books. Copyright © 2011 by Ariana Reines. Reprinted by permission of Ariana Reines.
Source: Mercury (Fence Books, 2011)
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Science Fiction

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  • Born in Salem, Massachusetts, poet, playwright, and translator Ariana Reines earned a BA from Barnard College, and completed graduate work at both Columbia University and the European Graduate School, where she studied literature, performance, and philosophy. Her books of poetry include The Cow (2006), which won the Alberta Prize from Fence Books; Coeur de Lion (2007); and Mercury (2011). Her poems have been anthologized in Against Expression (2011) and Gurlesque (2010). Known for her interest in bodily experience, the occult, new media, and the possibilities of the long or book-length form, Reines has been described as “one of the crucial voices of her generation” by Michael Silverblatt on NPR’s Bookworm. At once personal, Romantic, slippery, and extreme, Reines’s poetry investigates and overturns lyric conventions. Of her own work, she admitted in an interview with HTML Giant: “My best writing seems to have to be forced from me by some other...

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