Think of lilacs when they're gone. She looked out the window to the water and tried to think what they were doing upstream. Divers in black wetsuits shiny as seals. The grapple hooks into doughy white flesh like what forms under a band-aid left on too long. Dandelions forming under a tipped over washtub white as bones, the leaves soft and damp as the feathery transparent skin which peels off after a sunburn.
The tide was up and where the creek met the river the whole thing swelled. Estuarial. The boy who had drowned was deaf they said. She wondered had he screamed, voiceless and white as hidden dandelions. Behind her, mindless morning radio voices on the old Philco. Outside the window the banks of lilacs gone like fragrant dreams.
There would be the Sheriff's boat. What did he call it again? The Terminator or something as adolescent. She had seen it at White's Marina on the trailer, the name painted on the hull, and it had made her smile. Boys and their toys, she thought. A deaf boy and his girlfriend stole away from school to swim in the still icy waters of the creek. The Sheriff's boat circling now like a fiberglass shark. Divers' buoys floating like cartoon waterlilies. He could float down to you, she knew, like Moses, his back a loaf of bread dough cresting the black water, deceptively moist, a viscous sheen.
Not grapple but grappling hooks. Samantha wanted to pierce her nostril. Everyone was she said.
Safe at school.
If I pierced myself it wouldn't be a nostril or a nipple. The smallest ring of thin, thin gold wire through a hidden fold of the labia, like an iris in back water hidden in reeds, lapis lazuli, clitoral and estuarine. She said a prayer for the drowned deaf boy though she no longer believed god heard us.