Jacob Reina is an undergraduate English student at Fresno State. He was the undergraduate winner of the Fresno Fiction Prize in 2023. Much of his work is deeply influenced by Russian and Persian literature and has been or will be featured by New York Quarterly, Clackamas Review, Rougarou,Poets Choice, and Watershed Review.
The Most Reflective Hour
The four AM departure from dreams invites the cold swirlOf ceiling fan wind to tangle with the world outsideThe half-open window, where a motorcycle zoomsAt full speed along the soft, low-hummingOf constant traffic like a lost river's flow And I get to thinking, how even in such dark hours as theseHow one can make reflections, like ponds often doWhen trying to remember the shape of every cloudBefore they float away; I get to thinkingOf trifles, fights to come, warning signs Of little droplets and their ripple effects; wind, hailstorms,Throw in an earthquake while we're at it—whatDon't beer binges instigate? Ignite the woodsNear mountaintop borders for squeezingFinal coughs to glimpse the end at last. There could be another solution; that's what closed eyesForetell; there could be new lovers formed, moldedOut of friends, though it's better to forget; thereCould be house invasions and house arrests;Stolen plums and blackmail tablets; The four AM departure from dreams invites the cold swirlOf circulating air caught in newly bought bedding;The guilt of having spent any money alwaysRecurring like outside sirens and desperateWishes made during drunken dreams.