Not knowing how the rain came next day.
Probably hearing the arrival of the siren.
Never having a beard, or a paunch, or lunch
in Venice or any other city you never saw.
Knowing your iwi, your whānau, your hapū.
Not believing in Father Christmas until the bike.
Eating whitebait fried straight off the point and
knowing nothing could ever taste as good.
Sensing the shift of air, yet not feeling your skin
dead as we had to split your sides for breath.
Not knowing that the blackened nub of your nose
collapsed as your mother tried to hold you.
Hearing a cautionary tale somewhere about
matches. Not knowing how it ended.
Published in The Rialto 73.
My novel The Last of us was published by The Borough Press in April 2016.