A Death in Gomez Palacio

What were you?

A highway worker? A vendor of refrescos? Were you a traveler on your way North like those of us in the crowded bus? Had you gotten on, would you have sat next to me near the stinky potty and watched the strange landscape of Chihuahua pass in all its emptiness and moonlike relief? Would you have laughed at Cantinflas on the overhead TVs or shuttered to watch Jennifer Lopez get beaten up?

Would you have known the three old vaqueros that sat separate from each other; wisemen in jeans and worn straw hats. They filed off in Jimenez as quietly as they had gotten on.

When we saw your body lying like Homer’s broken poppy we made the sign of the cross. Hay un muerto aya.

Lying alongside the road in the heat, a corona of blood around your head though strangely there was no stain on the empty sleeve of your shirt. Maybe you had lost that arm long ago or had been born without one. That sleeve fluttered in the air, a fettered pigeon. Blood radiated underneath your peaceful face, someone had closed your eyes. From black to red, according to its depth. Your lips were parted, rhythmic white teeth surrounded by a black goatee.

A sleeping lover.



© Tasso 2003