To Juan Doe #234

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.