By: Allissa Hertz
You’re standing and your falling. passively. On the edge of nowhere is your own voice leaking out of your body in a cloud of whatever it is you see. There’re two holes in your head.
Sometimes I wish there were three. Third eye, bloodlines. The hard fist brick of the house you grew up in. Never write in second person. Curl your fingers when you cut vegetables. Don’t be a bully. Peel the sticker from the peel. You choke breathe another day and why is a funny word. I tell my brother he is the middle child and that’s why mom didn’t keep any of his things, but I didn’t think he’d start crying. Don’t write in passive voice. Don’t swallow the avocado seed. Get the dick out of your mouth when you’re talking. I let it all slip away, the sixteen knives clanking from the block onto the kitchen floor. Sometimes I wish you and I are someone different, but I know that’s crook·ed talk. Gold wristwatch and bloody feet.
Allissa Hertz earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Regis through the Mile-High MFA program. She received a BFA in Creative Writing and BA in Speech-Theater from Arkansas Tech University. She is an Editorial Assistant for Inverted Syntax. She was the Fall 2013 Editor of Nebo: A Literary Magazine. Her works are published and forthcoming in december Magazine, Progenitor, The A3 Review & Press, Badlands Literary Journal, and other publications.
"This poem is about deciding to love yourself when you are faced with the frustration of life’s passive moments. The line “your own voice leaking out of your body in a cloud of whatever it is you see” refers to a voice that records observations, rather than being introspective. You look out at the world and people tell you who to be. Your bloodline, the kind of house you grow up in, the way you act all define you. The line, “There’re two holes in your head. Sometimes I wish there were three,” has a double meaning. Being stuck between this place where you want to really see the world as if through a “third eye” or to put a hole through your head, a need for disruption in either direction. This creates a feeling of two selves, one that wants to be passionately alive and one that wants to die. In the end, “I let it all slip away,” and that is the love in it, the live and let live, these two forces allowed to be simultaneous. The “bloody feet,” the pain of being alive, set in contrast with the “gold wristwatch,” a symbol of how valuable that time is despite the pain."