top of page

Lesson on Morning After

CAS for Database

Sam Luo

Los Angeles, CA, USA

Alhambra High School


Lesson on Morning After

The other month, I found myself.

& lost him just like that.

I tend to forget [...] just as fast.

To fall asleep with my makeup on.

To fall in love with the wrong people. It happens.

Involuntarily, even.

These days, I find myself wandering in the produce aisle

On the routine grocery run. To feel each peel. To feel.

For as long as I can remember I’ve favored the limes

& the blackberries. The bitter bursting familiar. What if

The abuse came before the substance? At some point,

You learn you’ve an aversion to therapy.

Sometimes, it sounds as though

Help is asking for you. After the party,

You ask “What if, hypothetically, we never find ourselves?”

& you’ve had too much to drink. & you’re dying

For more. In the Uber back to your condo, I keep you from vomiting.

From unraveling into orange. We are not so different, I realize; the way

A supermarket puts up ‘Help Wanted’

& burns every dubious tumbleweed blowing across the storefront;

The way midnight strays hiss & howl at the moon if not each other. But tonight,

You snore. & it is a new sound. Your mind nestled in the soft cradle of my lap.

How dreams lead us to the stars & no way back.

How synapses should regenerate given time & rest.

How easy breath & believing should always be. & deeply isn’t.

How answers, after always & forever, sell you short of the full stack.

How even today, however hungover we are, I continue peeling towards happiness

In the sticker of the morning apple.

I pour us both a pint of pulp-laden sunshine.

We will swallow the sun.

After the party, you ask

“What if, hypothetically, we never find ourselves?”

You look up to find I’ve eaten the entire fruit,

Crunching away. Stem. Skin. Flesh. Core. Seeds.

The succulent cyanide. The pie of it all.

The sticker, too


This piece sucks you in: “The other month, I found myself. & lost him just like that.” Who? Why? How? Yet these questions are not directly unanswered, underscoring the existential uncertainty running through this piece. In couplets parting to individual lines then reuniting back, Luo illustrates how one pursues meaning amid the chaos of modern life. In his world, forgetting is as interchangeable as loving, connection as meaningful as disconnection, longing as possible as fulfillment. This poem invites us to join the speaker, peeling towards happiness, or even swallowing it whole.


Sam Luo is an American poet from Los Angeles, CA. He is a 2023 YoungArts Winner for Writing, U.S. Presidential Scholar of the Arts Semifinalist, and a former Get Lit Player. His spoken word has been featured by Disney, FOX, and California’s state career planning website. Sam’s poetry appears in Apprentice Writer, The Quarter(ly), and The Lumiere Review among others. He is currently an editor at Berkeley Poetry Review.

bottom of page