Cigarettes and Gum by Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal


If you bring cigarettes,
you are treated as royalty
at the psychiatric facility
by patients who cannot
afford them. Most of the
facilities have gone non-
smoking. On outings and
breaks off campus, patients
are allowed to smoke. This
is when they get to talking
and mentioning the name
of the guy who brought
them cigarettes. When they
see me, some of them smile
their thank yous. With the
increase in price of cigarettes,
it is getting less affordable
to buy them. I don’t think
they will appreciate a pack of
gum as much.

©2019 Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal



Luis Cuauhtémoc Berriozábal, born in Mexico, lives in Southern California, and works in the mental health field in Los Angeles. His first book of poems, Raw Materials, was published by Pygmy Forest Press. His other poetry books, broadsides, and chapbooks, have been published by Alternating Current Press (Songs for Oblivion), Deadbeat Press (Before and Well After Midnight), Kendra Steiner Editions (Make the Light Mine and 6 other Chapbooks), New American Imagist (In the House of the Butterflies), New Polish Beat (The Book of Absurd Dreams), Poet’s Democracy (Peering Into the Sun), and Ten Pages Press (Everything Is Permitted: e-book). His poems and prose have appeared online and in print at Blue Collar Review, Guerrilla Poetics Project, Nerve Cowboy, ZYX, Ariel Chart, Mad Swirl, Red Fez Publications, This Blog Will Save Your Life, and Yellow Mama Magazine.


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