Storyglossia Issue 42, February 2011.

Or We Were in the Middle of an Ocean

by J. A. Tyler


Or we were in the middle of an ocean, our legs losing strength. We were sea-sick in each other's laps, the pitch and roll of this faux love. We could no longer steady ourselves. We were in my bed, you imagining stars: I see through the ceiling, into the sky, where it is black and the stars are shining you said. I pretended half-sleep. If it was an ocean then we were a boat, holding each other's bodies in the shape of a raft, floating on our own limbs.


I want the baby in you. I want the baby in you to be our baby. I want the baby crawling across the floor. I want to decorate our walls. I want to vacuum up the dried moments we cannot stop spilling. I want the baby strapped to my back, making plans for plans. I want to have the baby. I want the baby crossed to my chest, asking you to marry me, the baby growing upwards. I want to measure her height on a door's trim. I want the baby that is inside of you, cooing. A baby, this baby, I want it to be ours, to show her how I make the sun set. This is not too much to ask.


When I opened up to speak, a ramble of words and a mountain came sliding towards us. Where do I put this? I was asking of myself, with no answers. You bled a leak that ran into the flooring. I was down on my knees toweling, knowing there was only a hollow of sky where her body had been. What color hair will she have? I was asking. What color eyes? There were rivers on our shelves. How big will her hands be? Then I had no more questions, and we were faded. I thought I saw a bird that was her when she was still possible, but it was water coming down, falling into these woods, and I was no longer on fire.

Copyright©2011 J. A. Tyler

J. A. Tyler is founding editor of Mud Luscious Press and author of Inconceivable Wilson (Scrambler Books) as well as the forthcoming A Man of Glass & All the Ways We Have Failed (Fugue State Press) and, with John Dermot Woods, the image text novel No One Told Me I Would Disappear (Jaded Ibis Press). For more, visit: