Valori Herzlich

Looking Back

by Michael Cantor

There was a marriage once where she would paint
from midnight until six a.m., and he
would rise as she slid into bed, and she
would sleep past noon, and wake, and reacquaint
herself with friends, and smile without complaint
as he came home too late each night; and he
was no more bothered by their life than she,
for neither cared that either was no saint.

Or so the story went — the one he told
to women he encountered now and then,
and polished with each use, then used again —
devised to snare the curious or bold.
It worked so well that finally he forgot
which parts of it were true and which were not.

Michael Cantor’s work has appeared in The Dark Horse, Measure, The Atlanta Review, MARGIE, The Chimaera, and many other journals and anthologies. A chapbook, The Performer, is available from Pudding House Press.