Thursday, August 30, 2018

Short Order Minds. By Kevin Ridgeway

we cough from the secondhand 
smoke in all the truck stop gravel 
voices, a side of french fries to 
nurse our premature 3 AM hangover 
on the drive home from that party 
in Pico Rivera where we waited 
a drunken eternity for our friend 
Shaggy’s reggae band after they 
got too stoned to remember what
they learned during what must have 
been an unmemorable rehearsal,
welcoming the clarity inside the 
fresh brewed coffee of our greasy 
spoon after party attended by 
midnight roadside strangers who 
had nowhere to go other than 
the Ralph's supermarket
whose meat section
of pig snouts and chicken feet
we pretended to browse and
be the lookout while our 
brand new tall Amazonian blonde 
friends stuffed wine jugs down 
their pants, all of us cooling down
from the heat of our vices fortified 
by an early breakfast or late dinner 
we neglected in the turn-on ogle of
a busy waitress running back and
forth long enough to not realize
her slip was teasing me from 
the short skirt behind her apron, 
and Rickie Lee Jones sang down 
and out music to accompany the 
realization that we didn’t have 
a solitary dime to cover our bill 
right before the night manager 
served all of us a complimentary
pair of black eyes for dessert.  

KEVIN RIDGEWAY lives and writes in Long Beach, CA. A Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, his work has appeared or is forthcoming in Slipstream, Chiron Review, Nerve Cowboy, San Pedro River Review, The Cape Rock, Spillway, Up the River, Suisun Valley Review, KYSO Flash, Home Planet News, Cultural Weekly, Big Hammer, Misfit Magazineand So it Goes: The Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library. He is the author of six chapbooks of poetry. His latest book, A Ludicrous Split, a collaboration with fellow poet Gabriel Ricard, is now available from Alien Buddha Press.

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