“Gardens are also good places / to sulk. You pass beds of / spiky voodoo lilies / and trip over the roots / of a sweet gum tree” – Amy Gerstler, “In Perpetual Spring”
It was when she crossed me that I came up with the plan. At first all I wanted to do is sulk. I even went out into my sulking garden and sat on my favorite pouting chair, sinking deep into the feelings of resentment and frustration that seethed inside me. It was, after all, so unfair. She had made up lies, told vile untruths, turned others against me. It was so unfair, so completely unfair.
But then the vengeance plants I had put in last fall wafted their bittersweet fragrance my way. I got them from a voodoo place over on the bayfront in Medeira, a place that was all purple curtains and incense sticks. They told me I should plant them in a warm place in the garden that got lots of rain. That’s not a problem here in South Florida.
Vengeance plants. I looked up at the clouds, all piled up dark and threatening, like my mood. Yes. I would have revenge. It would be my victory over her this time.
The lightning storm struck just as I finished harvesting the fierce purple fuzzy leaves from the vengeance plants. The sky was reading my thoughts, the sky was channeling my rage. The air sizzled around me and the rain came down in heavy ribbons.
They will find her tomorrow in the canal behind her house, washed ashore under mysterious circumstances. She will be alive, still alive. But by then the madness will have taken hold.