Post Road Magazine #15

Meghan Dunn

Soap Sirens

My mother knew each family’s secret:
each cheating tycoon and gold digger half sister
whose illegitimate son was switched at birth.
During love scenes, my sisters and I snuck peeks
through our fingers. When the music trailed off,
my mother allowed us to look again.
I dreamed of eight weddings like the heroine,
each more special than the last, and the chance
to attend my own funeral in disguise,
unrecognizable beneath dark glasses, a darker wig.
Who would throw herself on my grave
and sob, who would come to claw at the earth?
And when my character came back from the dead,
who would replace me, strolling in one day
with a better body, a more musical voice?
Today, the role of Meghan will be played by…
I shared my name with three girls at school,
but the soaps swarmed with Biancas,
Kendalls, and Simones, who strode around
like predatory angels in strapless dresses
and three-inch heels, and their curls fluttered
as if a slight breeze blew wherever they alighted.
When they thrashed about on satin sheets with men,
all interchangeable Kens, their shoulder blades jutted
from their taut flesh like bony wings.
I wanted their lives: to be rescued from a rabid dog,
or a runaway Buick with suspicious brakes;
to fall victim to a maniac’s plot;
or to have my memory erased by the evil Dr. N.
I wanted to disappear, to die and be reborn
like them, with a different face,
an immaculate new mind.

Advice for a Soap Siren

Never love anyone more
than you love yourself.

If you have children
you make the mistake of loving,

they will be snatched or switched or kept
from you by vicious capitalist fathers

who will mold them into clones of themselves.
If you love a man,

he will leave or fail you
or go on a murderous rampage after discovering

your one (drunken) infidelity.
And if you have the misfortune to love

not one man, but two,
both will die in a freak tornado,

trying to save you and your unborn child,
who will grow to blame you

for the death of both his possible fathers.
So instead, invest your energy

in revenge, malice, or getting rich quick.
Most importantly, learn from the past.

The loving wife and mother is killed
for ratings, but the bitch lives forever.

Meghan Dunn was raised in upstate NY but has been a converted Bostonian for the past several years. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College.

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