I find you swimming, cheeks flushed
like summer squash. Your father’s screams
echo against the riverbed as he drags you
by your earlobe from the sweet lick
of Indiana freshwater. I wish it were Thursday night
again, Molly piercing through your flesh
with a needle from her grandmother’s sewing kit,
with a diamond she stole from her aunt.
Now your ear bleeds, sore and crusty, diamond
popped from its socket like an arrowhead.
Your father ripens, flesh maddened, a husk,
the blood, war paint, water clouding like dusk.