With a broken-down oven, in a hotel kitchen, on an uninhabited island
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What if you could know
you’re better than someone else?
Not better in one small way —
a better lover, listener, cooker of pasta,
writer of poems — but entirely,
What if you have to choose life
for one of you, for the other, death?
And what if, after long, careful,
anguished thought — because,
after all, you’re the better person —
you make the right choice?
And what if, later, when you die,
there really is heaven and God
and perfection isn’t boring
but endlessly interesting, satisfying,
a challenge you only just meet —
like life, but the rules work?
And what if one day — it’s raining or bright,
perfect either way — God takes you aside
and you sit down with a favorite drink,
hot or cold depending on the weather,
in your throat its ideal mate of thirst,
and God smiles, lays on your hand
a huge scarred paw, says
That day you chose the better person?
Well, you were wrong. But stay
as long as you want —
we like having you here.
And patting your hand
God rises, eyes already gone
in that galactic reach,
looking for the next fool who,
between heaven and hell,
expected a difference.