I remember the first time I caught my head on a cabinet,
running full tilt through the kitchen
and the close heat,
while out of eyeshot someone was preparing a meal.
I remember the shock of the impact
and my ass thumping the ground,
dazed in a stupor.
That was me;
dumb as breadcrumbs,
the suddenness with which things sometimes happen.
That was me,
that teary-eyed fearful blinking around,
looking at people at the table
watching what I’d do next.
My fat little fingers were flat on the tile floor
and then trembling and wiping themselves on my pant-leg.
I was a little boy once—think of that.
I must have been four or five.
There were things I never expected.
Not things I didn’t think would happen—
things I didn’t think about at all.
Now an ex-girlfriend gets a new boyfriend
or someone I knew for a long time gets sick.
Something happens that doesn’t change much
but seems to
and it’s incomprehensible
for a long time.
First time being fired, first time getting hurt
first time I realised that I needed a cigarette
instead of wanting one.
I still sometimes have to walk in the rain
with wet socks
just like as a kid
and I just want to be little again
and soft fingers.
I miss the comfort of knowing I could run anywhere in the house
and fit places
and fall asleep in the car
without waking up there.
I want to be able to sprint under a kitchen cabinet
and slide beneath the table
playing with dinosaurs.