by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal
STRETCHING THE TRUTH
There was no Revolutionary War.
There was no Civil War.
There was no Holocaust.
There was no Vietnam.
There was no Iraq War.
The man in the White House is aces.
The man in the White House
would never tell a lie.
The man in the White House is as
wise as a man could be.
Send him your children
and he would not sacrifice them for war.
Send him your children
and he would teach them the ways
of restraint and diplomacy.
Every war I mentioned
was only a movie.
The man in the White House is
a man of peace. He would
sacrifice his own children first
and spare yours.
HOLE IN MY STOMACH
At night people come into my bed
and cut me. You see this scab on my
ankle? It used to be much deeper.
I have a hole in my stomach, which
will not go away. I used to see
inside there in the mirror and watch
my heart pump and pump. It was so neat.
I plan to model for Playboy to
support myself. Men I meet always
say to me I have a great body
when we get into bed. I don't see
why Hugh Hefner could not give me a
shot at the big time. I could find a
sugar daddy. I hate hard labor.
I don't have a last name. I would
go by the name of Sunny because
I like being out in the sun. I
want to make enough money to be
able to afford my own drugs. I
am tired of having sex for drugs. You
wouldn't believe how many times I
contracted STD's from strange men.
People tell me to quit drugs, but you
just can't make someone quit when they are
not ready to quit. I would like to
be fingerprinted because I think
I'm somebody famous. I just don't
remember who I am. I know I'm
not crazy. I just get so depressed
sometimes that I want to get a hold
of a gun and get it over with.
A woman promised me her fortune
when she died if I only moved in
with her and did some housework. For now
she is willing to pay me with drugs.
The weeds are knee-high in my backyard.
In some spots the weeds are waist-high.
All morning I have been hacking at them
with the hoe.
I would rather be inside the house,
preferably in the kitchen, drinking something cold.
I would rather slice onions.
If I was sitting inside at the table,
I would be having lunch.
I don't care much for the weeds outside.
I begin to sneeze and cough.
I don't like all the allergies.
But the yard work must be done.
No one else is going to do it for me.
The weeds get into my dreams.
They grow on me like hair.
Suddenly, I am covered with weeds.
I can't see an inch of open space.
I would rather dream of being something edible
like an onion or tomato.
I could be a cucumber.
The weeds are knee-high in the backyard.
A hard rain begins to fall.
I go inside and prepare myself a drink.
Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal is having a chapbook out in July, co-authored with Ronald Baatz, for Kendra Steiner Editions Next Exit Series. It will be Kendra Steiner Editions' 100th Chapbook.