i can’t say if this actually happened: my dad is thirty-two, beaming maybe, or tired from those hours i hollered my infant-lungs into the horrors of night. i am one or less. he lifts me from my carriage, perhaps just to look into the eyes of his creation. in this way, parents are fascinated gods. he lowers me back to the perch and stumbles, or i slip from his oft-iron grip; there is stumbling and slipping, and my baby-body falls to the ground. this pliable skull meets a thud it will come to know over-and-over. i am already stamped with the ground’s hard truth; it will mark me again. this is what my mom tells me. my dad never mentions this.