J.A. Tyler

I Want So Much From Our Living Room

I want the baby in you. I want the baby in you to be my baby, our baby, and I want that baby to be out from inside and crawling across the floor. I want to decorate our walls in family prints, I want to vacuum the carpet five times a day so that when this baby of ours, out from the inside of you, when she crawls through this world she won’t scrape her baby-still chubby knees on the dried moments we cannot stop spilling. They have offered me a job in Canada and I want to do something America. The office is floors up but I take the stairs and the peopled-elevator looks across to me, behind slowly-closing doors, my legs strangely working. I want to have a baby that I can strap to my chest and carry through the office, up the stairs, making plans for plans. I want to have the baby. I want the baby crossed on my sternum as a bulletproof vest. I want to tell them “Canada would be lovely” and then ask you to marry me and have this baby, raise her speaking French and counting upwards. I want to measure her height on the bathroom door’s trim. I want to take you out to dinner, to sit and say “My lovely ladies, pretend to break plates over my head,” until you laugh and laugh and our baby she giggles for the first time. Throw rocks at my window, wake me up, tell them that we can go to Canada, that Canada is a very nice place to bring up a baby. Take my calendar and mark off the next eighteen years-- cross through everything except holidays (even the American ones, since we will be living in a place where Thanksgiving doesn’t exist). I want to have the baby that is inside of you. I want to hold her in my arms, to coo at her as she coos or cries, to hold her breath at pastel walls. She will turn blue but I will squeeze and hover. I dreamt of living without ever strings attached, but a baby, this baby, inside of you, I want it to be mine, ours, and show her someday how I can make the sun set. This is not too much to ask of a living room.

J. A. Tyler

is the author of A Man of Glass & All the Ways We Have Failed as well as the forthcoming The Zoo, A Going (Dzanc Books) and, with John Dermot Woods, the image / text novel No One Told Me I Would Disappear (Jaded Ibis Press).

Pic courtesy of thedanidays

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