Michael Cantor: Airbrushed


Twelve years of Playboy calendars adorned
the basement walls: she told me that her ex
updated each, each month, among the wrecks
of half-repaired TVs he nursed and mourned;
and how he proudly winked at guests, and warned
about the workshop nudes, his shrine to sex,
with schoolboy glee. It always will perplex
me that she stayed on with a man she scorned.

Today we live together, she and I,
with books and art that speak of cultured taste.
Some Utamaro prints, precisely placed,
the Joyce and Yeats and Beckett catch one’s eye.
When I remind her daily of her happiness
she says Yes my dear yes my love yes.