The Many Deaths of Inocencio Rodriguez
When he traveled, he did so without mercy, in a body that was not a body but canvas painted with his handprints. It took 405 days to get to Detroit, & like each horse he passed, he stopped for a three-finger pour from an irrigation ditch. Wept for the solitary shoe missing its mate. Every morning was his last moment alive, & he was grateful for that kind of torture—say asphyxia until you run out of breath. We’ve all been underwater, our coats heavy with liquid & mirrors looking back at someone we’ve left. He was last seen down the street with the neighbor lady who remains protected now in her anonymity, a globe erased of its continents. All signs pointed north, far, far away from Mexico, the shape of whiskey spilled on a wooden table, gurgle, gurgle, & spit. Throw sawdust on vomit, the body is its own holy abattoir, carving away at its discoveries. Mystery, he always chased mystery, the sound of a triangle signaling dinner, damage done to the pig we were told not to love. Rod against steel, sound reminiscent of each ache we’ve had since he’s been gone, inside us, an echo in search of its rattle.