To Juan Doe #234's image
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I only recognized your hair: short,

neatly combed. Our mother


would’ve been proud.

                           In the Sonoran desert

your body became a slaughter-


house where faith and want were stunned,

hung upside down, gutted. We


                                          were taught


to bring roses, to aim for the bush. Remember?

You tried to pork


a girl’s armpit. In Border Patrol

                                         jargon, the word


for border crossers is the same whether

                           they’re alive or dead.

When I read his flesh fell


off the bones, my stomach rumbled,

                                                     my mouth


watered. Yesterday, our mother said,

                          “My high heels are killing me.

Let’s go back to the funeral.”


                                          You were always


her favorite. Slow cooking a roast

melts the tough tissue between the muscle fibers;


tender meat remains.


                  Remember the time

I caught you pissing

                             on a dog? You turned


away from me. In the small of your back

I thought I saw a face.

                                        Split lip,


broken nose. It was a mask.

                           I yanked it from your flesh.

             I wear it often.

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