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Pretty Flamingo


The guys on my block call her Flamingo because her hair is pink, she walks so fine and they want her-- if she just would. They admire her the same way people admire plastic flamingos in lawns and yards. She knows the guys in town want to plant her the exact same way. She is bold enough to object to that type of decoration.

Ah, pretty Flamingo. I’d write her a song except for the fact I’m in a Christian rock band called “Second Coming” and the lyrics I write for such songs as He Is Risen are not about the surging desires I have for Flamingo. After mass this Sunday I’m thinking about going to confession.

When Flamingo walks by she brightens up the neighborhood. When she passes by each day the boys call to her and she smiles or waves. Some try to walk with her five to ten strides but she brushes them off the way a side-walker brushes off a coin beggar.

Word on the street digresses. The guys attack like hell’s angry male cheerleaders saying she’s a slut. A smack shooting slut. A lesbian smack shooting slut. A disgusting lesbian smack shooting slut. A disgusting lesbian smack shooting dick sucking slut. A disgusting hard core lesbian smack shooting dick sucking slut.

Me? I’ve known her since we went to grade school when she was Kathleen. I remember she played the clarinet. It’s been ten years since and it would be remarkable that she would remember me at all. But she does.

It happens some sweet day, this sweet Sunday, when I see her at church. She’s hard to miss wearing a clinging crimson dress. At the donut/coffee post-game appearance she strides up, touches my arm and speaks my name, says I still look great. She tells me she had a thought that she had to come to church today.

“Cal, can I pray for something for you?” she asks. And I tell her.

“Hate the sin, love the sinner,” she says.

“Amen,” I say. I forget about confession.

Flamingo and I have plans. Now every guy will envy me when she’s out of reach and out of sight. I think it’ll be a day when her hair glows like the sun, and her eyes will light the sky. It’s a day when she’s with me and paradise is where I’ll be.

Timothy Gager is the author of seven books of poetry and fiction. His work hangs around the web and between the covers. He lives at