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Call me by my name
by Michael Mark

I need to hear it from you,
odd as it sounds.

Take my Michael’s six-year-old hand.

Know me like you know
the alphabet song, singingly.
As your eyes know sleep.

We can play house –
you’re the mommy, I’ll be the son.

You can judge me,
tell me if I am good or to be
punished, and

that you will love me even though.

And should I wander too close
to the unlocked gate, please
claim me.

I am so lost in fatherhood.

© Michael Mark

SOURCE: Originally published by San Pedro River Review 2015.

AUTHOR’S NOTE ON THE PHOTOGRAPH: This is a photo of me with my kids (Portland, 2014). I want to be just like them when I grow up.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michael Mark is a hospice volunteer and long distance walker. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Diverse Voices Quarterly, Gargoyle Magazine, Gravel Literary Journal, Lost Coast Review, Rattle, Ray’s Road Review, San Pedro River Review, Scapegoat Journal, Spillway, Tar River Poetry, Sugar House Review, and other nice places. His poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.