Poetry by Michael Mark

My next woman

When she does something that
bugs me,
I tell her my next woman won’t do that.

This is meant to be serious and amusing as
I don’t have plans for another woman but
I really don’t like some of the things my wife does.

When she hears this, she says, “Oh yeah?
Who is your next woman? Do you have one
picked out?”

I think of all her magazines
and the beautiful women in them.
None of them make the list.

I don’t tell her this.

I consider my old flames,
some of the girls in yoga,
a few of her friends.
None of them make the list.

I definitely don’t tell her this.

I say, “I need you to pick her out
for me. You know what I like so well
and what I don’t.”

Depending on the tenor of the moment
she will pinch me, punch me, laugh
or walk away.

I think she has a “next man” list
but she doesn’t tell me.

I’m careful not to do too many things
that bug her.


About Michael Mark

Michael Mark is the author of two books of fiction, Toba and At the Hands of a Thief (Atheneum). His poetry has appeared in Angle Journal, Awakening Consciousness Magazine, Empty Mirror, Everyday Poets, Forge Journal, The Lake, OutsideIn Magazine, Red Paint Hill, Scapegoat, The New York Times, 2014 San Diego Poetry Annual, UPAYA, and The Wayfarer, as well as other nice places.