President Obama and I were sitting in the back row of a church

“Hey Craig, how’s it going?” he whispered.

I was surprised he remembered my name
as we’d only met once in the Oval Office

in a group meeting about poetry and gays.

I slid next to him and addressed him as “Mr. President,”
though felt like calling him “Barack—”

not wanting my poetry too close to government,
but acknowledging his attempts to expand our democracy.