national anthology of the best undergraduate writing 2014

Farm Boys

Talin Tahajian  • 
University of Cambridge

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.