By Rachel Sherman - Dec 13, 2017
1.) Please throw away my soap. It is gross to wash with the soap of a dead girl.
2.) Please go through my files. The files are filled with dirt—real dirt—because that plant fell from the hook above the window and into them. I did not clean them, but there is probably something I forgot about. Probably something important.
3.) If you really miss me, sew my clothes into pillowcases. If you really care, hold them at night. Sleep on their stomach. Pretend to keep me warm.
4.) I have toenails clippings next to my bed that I might not have cleaned up. Before they come, please vacuum. I hate to think that in the end the room would be only dead parts of me.
5.) Please erase any attempts at poems I might have written. Please do this quickly.
6.) I was expecting to get all of my mother’s jewelry when she died. She only gave me half-sets, so that I would be nice to her until she died. Please give them back to her. Tell her I would have loved her anyway.
7.) I don’t like music, so don’t bother looking for lyrics or free CDs. Turn off whatever talk radio might be on.
8.) Throw away my underwear—quickly.
9.) Take my eyes. But make sure to give them to a child—I have small eyes. (An anti-semite once told me they were beady.)
10.) If you really miss me, there are many pictures of when I was a child in a blue box on the bookshelf. Also: pictures of my immediate family before we fell apart. You might want to frame these, then send them to my father’s new wife. You might enclose a note, pointing out how happy we looked.
11.) My wedding dress is in the closet but it is ripped and dirty since the ground was muddy and our wedding was in a field and cold. On our wedding day you forgot to tell me I looked beautiful, but your father did, which somehow mattered. No one wants to get married in a dead girl’s wedding dress.
12.) You can use my hair for the heads of children’s dolls.
13.) You might want to give my nose a nose job first. Then give it to a girl.
14.) Please give someone with a flat ass my own.
15.) If you want to take my teeth, that’s fine. I have only had three cavities. Ever.
16.) I have very nice feet. I say so myself. Give them to my grandmother.
17.) Please leave my lips be.
18.) My uterus: it is clean and unused if someone wants to fill it up, I would be honored. I have a feeling it is warm inside.
19.) There is that big birthmark on my leg, but my leg bones are fine. No part of me has ever been broken. The birthmark can be removed, they say. You might leave it, though. It might be a good reminder to someone.
20.) Give my tits to someone young. They are pre-teen size. Tell them they might want to sleep with a bra on, though, since they are actually older.
21.) Please don’t leave my brain inside me. I don’t like the idea of being alone. Give it to science; find out if they can actually “see” what went wrong. Have them go at it with experiments. Check if there is a gene.
22.) I have decent fingernails. You might want to take them and make some kind of wind chime. If you want to know what I am talking about, there is that wind chime in the backyard. It is not made of fingernails, but you get the idea. My mother was into wind chimes for a while, so give her that in a box with the jewelry.
23.) Don’t worry about my elbows.
24.) My calves are not the muscular kind. I had thought they were nice, actually, until you said ‘no.’ I know: you like the kind where you can see that someone came from farm-working people; where you can tell that someone’s people worked the land back in Russia. But I have the delicate kind. (My people must have just sat in chairs).
25.) If you want to keep me around in a practical way, I don’t mind if you make my skin into a lampshade. Really. I’ll understand.
26.) If you are sick of me just put my skin under the rug so it won’t slip. These things are important. Each time you don’t fall you might think of what’s holding you.
27.) Kitchen utensils: donate.
28.) Our dirty cat. (I try to cheer her on each time I see her licking herself…). If you keep her, you might want to try the same. Otherwise, I’m not opposed to euthanasia. I have done it before, to another cat, who didn’t seem to mind.
29.) Please relay the following to the appropriate parties:
a. Dad- I want you to know that I wasn’t mad that you had an affair with your Jamaican co-worker because she was Jamaican. It was the Born-again Christian thing that bothered me.
b. Mom- I want you to know that I wasn’t as much of a slut as you might have thought I was. I know I made it sound like I had a lot of sex sometimes, but really, it was mostly in college. Also, your buying me all that sexy underwear—not sure what to say about that. Thank you? No. Look what you did.
c. Brother- I’m sorry I used to call you a Tele-tubby. I realize it was not your fault that you were fat when you were a teenager, and I know now that you were trying to get laid, even though it seemed like you were just being a neuter.
d. You- You can separate me into pieces and place me all around the world. You can keep me in the shape of a girl or take me apart. You can leave me be. These are all just suggestions. I am all yours.
FROM THE PRINT ARCHIVES OF NEW YORK TYRANT