"Fault Lines" by Kevin Ridgeway
 

we were in our second month 

of elementary school and had

no clue what an earthquake

even was when the grounds

shook violently in punishing 

jolts that brought a chunk of

the ceiling on top of

the teacher’s aide while he tried 

to calm us down in broken English,

knocking him unconscious while

we all shit our pants and yelled
a choir of frightened tots that were

convinced that hell was opening

up to swallow them in its doomed

flames, but it all stopped and a

group of Mexican firefighters led

us to the soccer field, where we

all waited for our parents to come

pick us up, thanking Mother Nature

for nearly ending the world so we

could go home and watch disaster

movies on television.

 

"King Shit" by Kevin Ridgeway
 

that's what

was spelled out

on the baseball cap

at the thrift store

the same one

a man in a

wife-beater

picked up

and wore

to the cash register

and out the door

to greet a world

that was far,

far from ever

giving a shit

about who he

claimed to be.