The Cities Inside Us

by Alberto Ríos

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About the Author

Alberto Ríos was born in 1952 in Nogales, Arizona to a Mexican father and a British mother. Based on his genealogy, it is not much of a surprise that Ríos claims to be able to speak three languages: English, Spanish, and a combination of the two. Ríos has written many different collections of poetry, as well as short stories. In addition, Ríos has been a professor at the Arizona State University for 30 years for English courses.
The Cities Inside Us by Alberto Rios

Meaning Behind the Beauty

The first line of the poem explains a lot about the whole meaning of the poem: "We live in secret cities". This one line can explain everyday life for everybody. People live in their own world, or "cities" with their own pasts, presents, and futures. This interpretation can also be connected to the last few lines of the poem, "It's loud inside us, in here, and when we speak/In the outside world/We have to hope that some of that sound/Does not come out". These lines mean that people hope that their full emotions will not show all of the time, and they also hope that no one can tell what they are feeling to begin with.
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There are a couple of themes with this poem. The primary one is the fact that everyone lives their own lives without wanting other people to know about them. The second theme is that memories are forever. There are some lines in the middle of the poem that describe a person's memories, and how they never forget them. In conclusion, there are two prominent themes to this certain poem, but there could definitely be more.
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