Jésus Malverde

No one had seen him. They lifted a face
from a televised lineup—statesman or actor,
cosmeticized singer—then averaged the features
and rendered an image in pastels on plaster.
Chalked hominid shapes all over the city,
sidewalks impastoed with quicklime and blood.
Shriftless, the flock came in droves from the slaughter,
trafficker and homicide to his cinderblock altar,
and sought the familiar marauder’s composite.
Crude figures of reapers glared from their forearms,
tattooed tears on their faces, lachrimæ carceris.
In nomine patris, they whispered his name,
razors under their tongues, assembling the saint.