Thoughts on Babies on Trains

Thoughts on Babies on Trains
Laila Blake, 2012

Thoughts on babies on Trains

I envy babies.
I envy their boundless capacity for honesty and
I envy how they get away with it. So sneaky
using their big eyes and cute
little pudgy hands
or that gummy smile that just
has to have the power to melt rocks somehow.

I envy babies because they keep nothing inside.
Their entire emotional range is directed outward –
and each emotion on the scale,
in that moment that it takes over their bodies,
is magnificent.

The earth shattering tragedy of walking past a fire truck
without touching it,
the wrong green vegetable in your mouth,
the wrong person’s arms to be in.
Not a god, not a king knows such purity of feeling.
Such dedication and loyalty to pain.

I want to be able to cry like this
just once.
Cry so hard,
my face grows bright red, snot runs
out of my nose and my entire body
sweats and heats up under the combined efforts of all its muscles.
I want to cry so hard my neighbours would call the police
and so long my throat grows sore and cancerous – I want
to take all that buried longing and hopelessness, the anger and frustration and all the pain
and fling it back in the world –
right into all those faces of strangers on trains.
I want to cry and scream so hard and so long
that when I eventually stop,
my body is empty and tired and I
fall asleep in someone’s arms.

Instead, I stay. Silent.
I let that baby’s screams enter me and I
Exhale them with each ear-shattering sobbing cry.
I put myself in the baby’s place,
Crying and crying against someone’s arms
and they hold me while I flail and kick and they
hold me anyway.
I try and purge myself,
throw up
all the things I want to cry out
into a single
poisonous
breath.

Good baby, let it all out.

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