in a world that operates
like a poorly done hybrid
of The World According to Garp
and Forest Gump
Now: list 87 character quirks.
Randomly ascribe 17 and a half of them to a main character
who must be female
and dumber than your phys. ed. teacher in high school.
Apply the other sixty-nine and one half quirks
to the people who will rally around the protagonist
after three chapters of abuse, melancholy, and opression.
The fourth chapter should introduce sexual tension with somebody who’d never,
in the real world,
be attracted to the mousy little victim…
it should also foreshadow
some hitherto unimagined talent.
The talent should be something surprising
not something we’d ordinarily want to be good at
maybe dripping with clumsy symbolism.
Perhaps she’s the worlds greatest sculptor of soft serve ice cream.
but suffers from lactose intolerance.
Just imagine all the metaphors you can imply
as her Magnum Opuses all melt around her.
Watch her get better.
Believe in herself.
Master her dairy.
But her savoir has to do something stupid.
Maybe it reminds the hero of her
good-for-nothing-no-good ex boyfriend
When she leaves him
her talent fades
or she realizes
the thing discerning readers picked up
half a book ago:
It doesn’t really matter– even a little bit
if you can sculpt soft serve ice cream.
When they reunite
at the place they first met
They kiss the way they’ve wanted to for the whole book
and they discover together it was never about the ice cream after all.
That’s when the gift returns:
At the end of the second-to-last chapter
There are two differences
between this poem and the latest Oprah book.
The first is that it won’t earn 87 million dollars.
is that I won’t bother
what happens in the last chapter.
You already know.