raul & i drive by a yellow sign that reads cuidado–no exponga su vida a los elementos–no vale la pena. we pass a mountain where, tucked away in a place that the relentless sun cannot reach, the direction & miles left to the border are scratched into a boulder. raul tells me that yesterday, under a creosote, he found a knapsack holding only a light bulb & a battered bible. the body was nearby, so far from god. the legs consumed by cramps. the skin wrung of its sweat. all the water escaping the body to try & keep it cool. the clothes stitched onto his skin by the sun. last night’s full moon a final eucharist his mouth could not reach. he had a name, santos. he also had a wife. or maybe it was a mother, or a sister, or a daughter. the wallet didn’t say. we stop at a white crucifix staked into the ground where there are no roads & leave twelve bottles of water & twelve pears. raul tells me that he once found an entire skeleton in torn clothes, the sneakers still tied to its feet. on our way back to the orto lado a flash flood rushes across the road in front us. we stop, step out, & face it. we leave the truck running, the speakers aching y volver volver. sweat collects at the base of the gold crucifix necklace underneath my shirt. the rains are short but so heavy, i say. right raul? nests of gila woodpeckers poke their heads out of a saguaro. i look at their curious eyes. raul, i say & the saguaro blooms. i stare back at the flood. i say my mother’s name, cristina, & desert marigolds crack through a boulder. i say my father’s name, martin, & all the novena candles in the bed of the truck are aglow. i say santos & in a pair of footprints in the sand a man is built up from the part of his body that touched this earth most. i say the names of my tias, tios, primos, & a bronzed mass dressed in white rises from the rushing flood. their backs are turned to me, they wear my family’s shoulders. they head north. before them the white obelisk marking the line in the ground crumbles. before them the metal fences dissolve like mist.