I Think I Did It Wrong

Michael Mark

University. Waverly. I kept saying

the street names in my head. Greene. 

Astor. So I’d know how to get back

to the train, to Queens, after.

I think she held my hand

from Washington Square to her place.

Would you like juice? she asked,

in her small kitchen, before.

She drank from the carton.

In the middle of it I wanted to ask

her name. (You shouldn’t be thinking

about her name, I told myself.)

I said Thank you, at the door, after.

She kissed me goodbye. It was unlike

the other kisses, cold on my forehead.

Like my mother forgiving me,

but not all the way.

Michael Mark’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Alaska Quarterly Review, The Arkansas International, Los Angeles Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Pleiades, Poetry Daily, Rattle, The Sun, Verse Daily, Waxwing and The Poetry Foundation's American Life in Poetry. michaeljmark.com