Three Poems by Lu Pieto






don’t freak me out

o pitiful soul trapped in darkness
you’ve been wandering around the drugstore stoned out of your mind for 45 minutes
passing the same goo and liquor candy
picking up 3 energy drinks
to simulate algor mortis
and cool your dead body

you live your life by repeating numbers,
softly urged forward by 111 222 and so on,
which you think aid in some illumination.
riding around with an urge to destroy
just because someone with taste like yours
has taken a $2.00 lighter
and set you on fire

you’re completely annihilated
but only when you try to resist the annihilation
you pick up the last stick of gum buried at the bottom of your bag
to use it like a four leaf clover.

can you help me read this poem?

I read it for the first time
written on the back of a lighter I borrowed at a party and never gave back
while I was sitting in the kitchen at 4 am
because I couldn’t sleep
and I felt like the last man on earth

I tried to smoke a cigarette on my porch
so I could feel like I was doing something sad in a hot way
but I put it out
because I can’t smoke if I’m not drinking

I remembered a beautiful tune
a pretty one I used to pass the time with
and I was sick of the whirring of the air conditioner
against the rest of the silence of my mom’s kitchen

I put my headphones on pressed play
and shook my ass to the sound of a relationship that ended 2 years ago
that I’m still not over
and made me an even worse person than I was before

I switched to a happy-sad Whitney song
because she died for my sins
I lay on my side so my stomach settles
because these same thoughts always come back to me
and make me feel like I’m gonna retch

its times like this that make me want to become a doomsday prepper
or try my hand at televangelism
or erase any evidence that I ever lived

who cares if I run away?
the worst anyone could do is find me.


I’ll reveal myself in flesh
It’s this mystery of devotedness
That keeps me chained to my bed
Bound by burning
That’s cauterizing the wounds that have opened up
Spewing blood acid
Like a dumbass version of the xenomorph

My brain detaches from its stem
And leaves my skull
Walking a lonely mile To the foot of your bed
Where it will fall asleep
and then wake up and watch you
Until you return it to me

I see the sun
But I can’t feel it on my skin from where I’m standing
I don’t know if I want to yet, but I have time to decide
I’ll keep watching your expired shape
Which lay next to me Under this bridge
Or underpass
Or wherever we are

I keep seeing these words floating by
Just as I resist the urge to reach my hands into your intestines
Telling me that if I have loved
I don’t have to be afraid to die
But they scare the shit out of me
And I draw back from your abdomen

Lu Pieto writes poetry that you can read under a bridge or in a parking lot at 3 am.

Image: Joe Haupt from USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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