the psychology of forgetting (a business proposal)

by Anna Leader

come in! take a seat! so glad to meet you—
yes, down to business. here’s what we do.
you surely know it’s long been thought
by those who ought to know that you can’t feel
a feeling or think something if you do not
possess a word for it: words make things real.
we take pride in putting theory into remedy.
let me tell you how it’s done.

forgetting how to be in love, for one,
our top sought-after surgery. we agree:
love’s painful and you’re better off without.
so how to fix it? to use a farm analogy—
you plough romance’s lexical fields,
tear stubborn love-words out like weeds,
dump newly-indifferent semantic seeds
and wait for them to sprout.

a simple operation! it’s guaranteed
you won’t succumb to ‘love’ at all.
sounds good, yes? (oh, just something small
i have to say: it has occurred
that on occasion we can’t excise love.
then, like pain after anesthetic, the word
as a wordless scream will rise up in the throat—
but nothing to be frightened of.)