By Teresa Leo

For Kyle

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.
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About Teresa Leo

Teresa Leo is the author of a book of poems, The Halo Rule (Elixir Press, 2008), winner of the Elixir Press Editors’ Prize. She is the 2012 winner of the Richard Peterson Poetry Prize from Crab Orchard Review, and her work has appeared in The American Poetry Review, Poetry, Ploughshares, Women’s Review of Books, New Orleans Review, Barrow Street, The Florida Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, 5 AM, Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, Mooring Against the Tide: Writing Fiction and Poetry (Prentice Hall, 2005), the anthology Whatever It Takes: Women on Women’s Sport (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1999), and elsewhere. She has been a resident at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Blue Mountain Center, and the Vermont Studio Center, and has received fellowships from the Pew Fellowships in the Arts, the Leeway Foundation, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. She works at the University of Pennsylvania.


  1. Nsisong
    Posted July 2013 at 4:00 am | Permalink

    This. Is. The sweetest ode to married love, or should I say to marrying someone that loves you that I have ever read. Thank you for writing this.

  2. Posted November 2013 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    This is absolutely wonderful! I so appreciate how Tatooine became something far more beautiful through your words.

  3. Andrew
    Posted September 2014 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Wow. What a ravaging march through an ever-changing cruel landscape of life… for the knowledge that Kyle will be there, not even a doubt, the surety of the movie-goers suspense of disbelief that the good will be rewarded, in this case, with the love of a literalist.

  4. Charanjit Singh
    Posted April 2017 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Enchanting! Thank you Teresa!

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