“Swap Meet Odysseus” by Kevin Ridgeway

every Saturday they would

build a city of sunken tents

in an abandoned drive-in

theatre whose blank screens

played sun damaged ghost

reels that I watched while

my mother haggled over

brand name rip-offs with

hungover amateur salesman

who didn’t speak English

until she realized that I was

missing, clasping the hand

of her Mexican lookalike at

a neighboring wagon of

black market stink that

I tried not to inhale in my

desperation to find her on

the opposite end of that

earthquake ravaged parking

lot in a tent housing spoiled

perfume, oversized leftover

Dukakis-Bentsen ’88 t-shirts

and a steaming crater of

Teddy Bear amputees, their

eyes pleading with me to

save them all from their

inevitable dumpster doom.

Kevin Ridgeway lives and writes in Long Beach, CA. His work, nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, has appeared or is forthcoming in Chiron Review, San Pedro River Review, Misfit Magazine, and The Mas Tequila Review, among others. He is the author of six chapbooks of poetry, including On the Burning Shore (Arroyo Seco Press).


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