At My Son’s Favorite Mexican Restaurant After He Died

I’ve never noticed the animal heads mounted on the wall:
deer, coyote, jaguar.

Behind them, a desert mural, saguaro cactus fades into the horizon.

I wonder when we last brought Riley here,
did he see death looming beyond the decorations?

The round-faced tortilla lady cooks in a never-ending loop.

The bartender used to smile and wave.
Now, he pretends not to see me.

I order Riley’s beloved meal: a square of butter
in a rolled flour tortilla.

I eat in little boy-sized bites, like he did,
like I’m his ghost.

After enough tequila, I can see his head too, mounted next to the jaguar and deer,
fading into the sky.