Upon the sedimentary base of the Río Grande
or Río Bravo (depending on your line of approach)
his corpse was found. It probably stank.
It was probably bloated and purple
and was definitely shackled.
As they dragged the thing
that used to be him
to the twinkling surface
filthy liquids that had soaked
and stained his white cotton socks
must have streamed
from his trainers
through shoelace holes
and from his nostrils and pockets
rendering business cards or,
more likely, scraps of paper
with scribbled names and numbers,
illegible and pointless.
From Brownsville to Matamoros
he had crossed to visit his parents.
There were signs of torture.
He had rented a car.
Like others I decided not
to attend his funeral.
I hardly knew him I told myself.
He stayed in Condesa
for three days and nights
when down for the In Rainbows tour.
The last text I sent him
was to complain about
not moving his gear from my couch
at the agreed-upon hour.
Every death is an unacceptable affront.
The inexplicable murder
of a young orchestral conductor
is a dark leaden palm
that pushes down on the lungs.
Let it be known and understood –
there is nothing to be learned