Two Poems – Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal

That Much I Know

No one is happy.
Bombs go off in
Tennessee and
Santa Claus has
fled the city.
is the new name
for America.
Who is going
to make it great
again? The red
hat is just a
slogan. It does
nothing to make
things better or
great. Toss it in
the fireplace. See
if it brings warmth.
The rich got a
whole lot richer.
That much I know.
Why do they need
so much money?
Put it to use.
Spread the wealth. Make
things better for
everyone who
cannot afford
to eat, to put
a roof over
their head, clean clothes,
blankets, a job
with decent pay
and free healthcare.
This poem is
just telling it
like it is. This
is about us.
There is too much
me, me, and me.

I’m Not Going to Make You Sick

Crossing the street
at Temple and Hill,
I see Gary for the first
time since the pandemic.
He is still living
in the streets,
looking a little
less disheveled.
He tells me Luis,
can you help me
out with some money
to get a coffee,
some sugar, or
a cigar? I’m not
going to make you
sick, I promise.
That thought never
crossed my mind
before. I talk to
him through
my mask and notice
he has a mask
too, hanging from
his neck. I hand
Gary the three bucks
I had in my pocket
knowing it is
just enough for a
cup of coffee.
I tell Gary to keep
safe, to keep that
mask on. He said,
he would and asked
what ever happened
to David and Michael.
I tell him they must
be working at home
as we go our
separate ways.

Born in Mexico, Luis lives in California and works in the mental health field in Los Angeles. His poems Online and in print have appeared in Blue Collar Review, Kendra Steiner Editions, Nerve Cowboy, Pygmy Forest Press, and Unlikely Stories.

Banner Art: “Covid Flower” a VISPO by Robert Frede Kenter (c.) (2022). Twitter: @frede_kenter

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