I ask my husband, ever the literalist, if he missed me before he knew me, and he says, "It's not possible," so I say, "You know, in a poetic kind of way." "Still not possible," he maintains. "Like, the love was always there, but waiting." "Waiting?" he asks. "In a prequel kind of way," I say. "You mean like Star Wars Phantom Menace?" I think of invasions and trade routes, barren landscape of impossible dunes and treaties, what it took to get here, galactic unrest, yes, but deeper, like a scorched tongue in the driest desert mouth of pre-history abstracted beyond speech, and you were my mirage I want to tell him, over every next hill, past the idiot men who marched like droid armies then dissolved into grains of sand, ten thousand faceless others in the epic space opera that would precede us. But you were hardened starlight, desert bloom, something sustainable and airlifted to safety or buried like the roots of a knotted tree— marker, memento, trail I left for my future self to find you.