The Cathedral's Lady

A young woman washed the gargoyles' faces with dish soap and hot water and sometimes a squeeze of lemon to bleach the sunspots from their eyeballs. She crawled from spire to spire, a bucket sloshing at her elbow, toes curled inside cracks in the stone, for she preferred braving the walls to walking claustrophobic staircases indoors. 
She had many visitors, all boys with armfuls of roses. She plucked the petals and laid them at the gargoyles' feet, but kissed no one. 
Soon streaks of silver were strung from her scalp, and butterfly prints brushed the corners of her eyes and mouth. The boys became men who lost hope and never came again, and she became the old woman who washed the gargoyles' faces.

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