1439 West Foster, rear


Fear to tread
the lush midsummer garden,

where overgrown leaves
camouflage porcupine melons,
like old Hollywood footage
featuring Charlie lying in ambush,
a jerryrigged vegetable minefield
of green-colored bamboo tied trellises
and thick-gauged plastic cord hung just high enough
to decapitate another poor Hutton
whose sun sets on the wrong coast,

built of secondhand discarded alley flotsam
ingeniusly recycled as is the tao of old country ways
for maximum Beauty, Privacy, Security,
and Security again for lack of durability
enforced to protect August-covered crop
(something to do with an inherent
historical desire to keep intruders out).

Their sunburnt faces constantly till
and water the black dirt
moistly fertilized of piss and Miracle-Gro
the exotic, magical Oriental greenery,
fauna some crave, others despair,

the same forest that beat back
a technologically superior army
and won a war.

Boys, do me a favor,
just sit back and shoot down
dem who abscond
with my hard fruits,
willya?

So Ray, ten years younger
and keener of eye,
fires off two rounds of pellet ammo
xenophobic warning shots

while red courdoroyed Tina
caught in the undertow of her Po
chases another sniper down the alley,
my autographed George Brett
baseball bat in hand.

Enter the jungle,
hopscotch widely spaced pilfered bricks
into the home-grown bok choy patch
interspersed of kohlrabi, stringy textured
even when overboiled
and wage battle.

Poured concrete, a gray moat, surround
soylent green and disguise many a secret path,
hidden corridors, labyrinthic like the
veiny pattern of leaf infrastructure,
leading to precious star and bittermelon
from those who would steal.

Outside of their Great Wall
lies the enemy in wait,
a lonely beaver
but here is the smell of napalm.