Hi, church-janitor guy.
I see you, peeking your graying head around, your white t-shirt bunching around your middle, hesitantly clutching your trash bags, thinking, “What is she doing?”
Yes, I can read your thoughts, why do you ask?
Then I watch as you bravely trudge closer to me, to the dumpsters, and haul your bags in with a grunt. You look at me again, and then wander around, pretending to pick up trash, pretending to be solely consumed with the emptiness of the parking lot, except for your car, and my car.
My boots are kicking the clouds, and my black skirt probably looks too short on this swing. Haven’t you noticed how the other two are broken? Such a mangled swing set, one of them dangling on its only hook, the rest of it splaying out across the mini rocks. The other tied in twenty knots. Can’t you get a ladder?
I don’t blame you for your fear, Janitor. I mean, anyone who finds it their task to inquire of a goddess why she is flying should be afraid. But be brave, I would have mercy on you, if you asked me what I was doing, and why. It didn’t happen on purpose you know, but something drove me here, some past ghost of mine who is sitting, probably on the one-armed swing, she called me here, maybe seven years old, or thirteen.
And now my hands may be getting callouses I’ve been swinging for such a very long time, and singing, and letting my hair ride itself over my face and then down my back in sultry waves of pleasure, as my stomach lurches proudly and the wind in my face gives me a high, and the old bars start creaking because I won’t stop pumping my legs into the sunset, and writhing midair.
If you were brave, I would Knight you, and tell you why I came here. I would point down the hill and say, “That was my house, the blue one with the little garden, and the tree I planted in the yard, and the one my brother did.”
I would tell you how my whole life was spent in the church you are miserably cleaning on a Monday evening, and how I know every inch of it twice as well as you do. I would talk about the way the sun used to come through the windows in the sanctuary while I waited for my father, hours after service, to lead the final weeping parishioners to the door and lock up, his exhausted pastoral countenance never looking my direction. I would tell you how we used to run these hills, weren’t they bigger before? And how we used to suck the sweet nectar from those lilacs-
WHAT THE FUCK?
What the FUCK is that fence doing there? Who the fuck put a FUCKING FENCE in front of my lilacs?!
Oh, oh, I am enraged, I am infuriated! Where are my gods, my soldiers, my legions?! Rip it down! Gnaw away every last sliver of this hideous cage, let them free! Free them!! They are MINE, they are ours, they are my childhood! What are the children to do, wicked neighbors, now that you have locked them up behind your lecherous planks? You fools.
It is a good thing you went back inside, Janitor, a very good thing, because I have somewhere misplaced my mercy.