before the alarm

i thought it would be important
to mention the sliced jalapeños
or the way your khmer
was accented by english
or how we were straddling
an old wooden bench beside
posters of stars and planets
and raven-shaped spaceships
but it’s not
the only thing that’s worth telling
is that i had you in my arms
and then i woke up

backyard back then

i finally gave you that tour
of my backyard last night
but it was nothing like
the one i’d been promising
there were no fruiting trees
no lush green canopies
no unnamed plants with
unknown culinary uses

we walked across the hillside
as it was twenty years ago
when the adjacent plots
only housed blooming cacti
and wild grass gone to seed
i’d forgotten the way the land
sloped under foot and gaze
before the fences were raised