I have decided to reopen that book—
the one I abandoned, early last summer,
heeding the advice of Suzy and Barbara,
and the New York Times reviewer
who crowned it absorbing, enthralling,
and a host of other superlatives I didn’t feel
when I banged it shut in the middle of page 32.

“You’re right,” Suzy admits, “the beginning drags a little.”

“But it gets better,” Barbara promises. “You’ll see.”

So I’m getting out of bed,
walking downstairs
in my slippers,
ready to reconsider
an implausible plot
and tragic characters
for two cheerleaders
who insist I won’t regret
the monumental effort
to turn the page.


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