close up photography of brown fender guitar headstock

Fishing Hooks and Head Stocks

photo of fish bait

A fishing lure hangs from your headstock. I never thought to wonder why. I bet you could catch a fish with a high E string and a G string hook with a feathery lure. I bet you could get a bite.

You caught me through the cheek and landed me just fine, after all, with that high E string jive and your A string hook at the end of each lyrical phrase. I plopped out of the Pond and onto the thirteenth floor of your room, starved of oxygen and at your mercy, flopping this way and that with no way to escape and swim away.

A fishing lure hangs from your headstock: feathers and wire. Like a fish outta water, like a bird on the sea can’t find her wings and float or swim back to her own shore where you are not and she is free.

He thought I could never leave him, unless he threw me back into the water whether I wanted to get wet or not, whether I could swim or I would sink meant nothing to him. I was there at his indulgence, and when he was through with me, he was through.

So when I developed wings and flew his nest, screaming “Fuck you and thanks from all the fish” and he was left alone bereft, forgive me for enjoying his tears at losing the fish he kept in a bowl while he pecked and picked at my flesh. Forgive me for feeling a certain schadenfreude at his downfall, a little enjoyment at his tumble.

Sometimes when people tell you they are an eagle, raptor-minded, cold hearted, and you are but a tasty morsel to be kept swimming in circles for their enjoyment, the only thing to do is stop being a gold fish and turn yourself into a merlin, a tiny feathered killer, spiraling up into the sky hunting for a wind or a current that will take you away, that will take you far away from here to there in the hope that the there will be better, will be safer, will be warmer.

I am not running, I’m flying. I’m not leaving, I’m dying. I am not yours for the keeping, my feet find my own desert to wander in some ancient imprinted genetic memory of parted seas and stones and my mother’s sadness that destroyed both her and me.


  1. Donna Jessica

    You are an an amazing and creative writer who has an unbelievable way of reaching deep to express yourself in startling ways. I enjoyed this particular story especially for personal reasons.

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