Institute to Forget and Stop Writing the Elegy 


I’m told there are institutes in Paris where you can learn how to forget the dead. If I thought that was possible I would go. I’m told they make you wear special helmets. Electroshock fashioned headwear they say. The pamphlet says they zap out the grief. If I thought that was possible I would go. Once, they sent me reading material inside a snow globe, one shake and the words floated inside. This is an apparatus for becoming a lonely estate it said. That is the first step to forgetting everyone. Talk to yourself in the street it said. Say hello to strangers. Always revert back to the conversation with yourself. Never look yourself in the eye it said. Hoard the sugar packets from every coffee shop you frequent. Save them for Christmas morning. If it’s not snowing climb onto your neighbor’s roof and pour them out, all at the same time while singing, let it snow. Run holding your palms over both ears. Stop wearing watches on your wrists. Hang them around your neck instead and make sure they’re abnormally large. Tell everyone that your parents are dead it said. Keep an extra sleeping bag between their graves and invite someone to sleep over. Don’t forget to bring flowers it said. If asked your occupation, say photographer, and tell them to hold still while you pull out an etch-a-sketch from your satchel. Make sure they know you have the fastest draw in the South. If someone asks how your parents died tell them your father’s body overflowed with white light and that your mother had an accidental overdose. Your ETA has always been too late it said. Please read the fine print it said. We cannot help you from here.