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,

down there

not understanding

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 safe

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.