Kevin Ridgeway


The girl working the counter
at Starbucks asked me
for my name but then she retracted
her question with a “never mind”
because my low budget coffee
needed no preparation as it silenced
my eagerness to share my name
with her and I did my best to act
all cool in my thrift store striped shirt
and baby blue Covid mask, which
fogged up my Dollar Tree sunglasses.
I was blind enough to bump into
a row of chairs on my way out the door
and to the curb until I could see again
with the solemn vow to go to a place
where everyone will know my name.


Kevin Ridgeway is the author of “Too Young to Know” (Stubborn Mule Press) and a dozen chapbooks of poetry, including “Grandma Goes to Rehab” (Analog Submission Press) and “In His Own Little World” (Between Shadows Press).  Recent work has appeared in Slipstream, Chiron Review, Nerve Cowboy, Main Street Rag, Sheila-Na-Gig, River Dog #2, Misfit Magazine and San Pedro River Review, among others.  He lives and writes in Long Beach, CA.