Poetry by Luis Cuauhtemoc Berriozabal

Seven Torturers


There are seven of them

behind me. They whisper

misdeeds. They’re only

behaving because you’re here.

My sister does not believe

anything I say. The doctor

is blind to what happens

to me every day. These

people pull my legs and

arms. They want to rape me.

My sister won’t let me

come. She doesn’t love me.

I want to die. The seven

people take me to this room

where they torture me.

I cannot live like this.

They know you’re here so

they wait. Please tell my

sister and my doctor that

you believe what I said.


Smoking it the Right Way


Every time I smoke a joint

thoughts of death enter my head.

Instead of feeling high, I

start to feel sad and depressed.

Do you think I’m not smoking

it the right way? Maybe I should

find a new source. Do you think

my drug dealer’s giving me junk?

I passed out drunk on the lawn

for the last time. My dad won’t

let me come home. He said

he is tired of paying my fines.

Could you help me change my

ways? I need my SSI started.


War Hero


I fought for this country.

The doctor, he did not fight

for this country. I fought

for him. He did not fight

for me. He can’t say I am

crazy because I’m a war

hero. He could barely

speak English. Why should

I listen to him? He’s half

my age. I could bend him

over my knee and spank

his smug face. He thinks

he has power over me. He

has never held a gun. If

I have my gun with me, he

would not be so hasty

in giving up on me. I’m

not helpless, you know. I

could get around in my

wheelchair. I lost a leg

in the war. What did he lose?

I have not lost my mind.

I could still think and I

think the doctor is wrong.


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