She Has Hell in Her Heart She has Hell in her heart, religion in her eyes the surge of sin tingling in her spine The siren song of an angel calls to her telling her to crawl up a ladder, her own spire a pillar of hate cast from a pyre of flame our rubble, our trash, we would choose to burn her, bubble her skin instead of thread her hair, slice her fingers rather than read her script. The town that binds her in ropes as ash falls through the air, they smolder in churches long dead- demons won’t even touch their souls, the devout, the prayers sung loudest, louder than sirens blaring through vacant streets; eventually shatter under her rage- she is pure as snow and clean like rain, her soul bursting under the weight of locked rooms and charred desks, the struggle of God imprisoned in her lips Imperfect Parts A holy rage christens me, a baptism in my head // the fluid in my brain unsettling, curling, unfurling, poisoned ink infecting me // an ocean of pain // tainting what memories I’m allowed to have // the ghostly god shining down on me // casting his approval for what I can/cannot remember // He knows what’s best for me- // He can make my brain bleed, says it’s from my art, tells me it’s part of a plan // push me into a chapel // see how much I cry // then ignore me for six more days until I stumble back in // so forgetful // leaking out blood from my ears and he says it’s from the applause not from what I gave you // now go back out there you ungrateful bitch // I made you, I gave this to you // do you think I make faulty parts? // do you think you can really tell the difference between a cathedral and a grave? // you’re still praying, either way, He tells me // automaton with hands clasped // stained glass light filtering down // over and over again //forever and ever // amen Along Came a Spider His arachnid words get into my brain/ crawling all over the spheres/ piercing the amygdala/spiking the serotonin/ severing the synapses. The toxic/ porridge thick words, they go down/forcefully coating the inside/ of my curlicued skull/ ribbon tied outside/ belying how ugly and dark/ the poison really is that seeps below. It doesn’t stop/ there as I sit on my tuffet, it slips/ down my throat, expanding down my esophagus/ strangling me/ if I try to call or cry, the sapling/grows/ my doubts holding the watering can/ cultivating the seeds until I’m primed, prepped, prepared/ to add my own stones to the scales/ already tilted against me, Egyptian judgment/against my soul/ when my body still beats but my spirit hangs/ deep in limbo/the hateful words, they crawl all over me/ never ceasing, a constant curse/ and I swirl what echoes he’s left behind/ like an aftertaste, the rotten sound in my head/ pulsing forever and ever and after, amen/ an alter laid, a living corpse frightened away. The show is done, he gets the performance he wants/ but there is no extraction for what he’s done, this is a brand/ hot and searing and a scar will surface/ that only I can see, for I am trained, the discipline damns me/ no limit on pain, whipped in line/ a begging ballerina, Russian strict but there’s an advance line/ for the next night I scream in the dark/ about how ugly I am, how my bones should be/ ground and pushed into the sea, deeper/ than the meanest pirates knocked about/ by violent winds and bored gods. I cover my mirrors in shrouds/ buy powder by the pound and load all my self-worth into his shotgun mouth hoping the bullets won’t hurt this time, close my eyes/ and help him pull the trigger/ by offering him a seat next to me. Old South Cameo eclipses pearl throat raven dress mourning a death too soon our heroine's thoughts drift Desolate soldier gone from here taken by oaths and wedding rings, death's veil wears his bride The lady distractedly strokes her black gown Pale tomb before her white sheets need mending oil lamps dimming repaired hallways black floral wreaths sag on doors a warning to visitors: please don't knock a soul is passing through our hearts aren't really ours now they're stains and blots inkwells ribbons bound paper letters collected hidden under a floorboard Step out of the bedroom, try to chase the second ghost you'll see fleeting in the fog father of your dead his love blackened and soured a spoiled love and you're running faster than ever The Darkness of Five O'clock in Winter (As I read your obituary) My heart is the color of Five o'clock in Winter Thick acrylic of nocturnal sky painted over me decades too soon The lacquered dark shadows my ventricles Each valve closed off, the empress of my chambers Entombed to the rest of the world Sealed off, I am Lonely and a stale assortment of withered veins My synapses are blackened bolts of lightning removed of their misfiring circuitry, gathered thin branches removed of all thorns... emaciated limbs atrophied on the pale granite centerpiece I am stone, I am soul Collect my teeth with their unpolished enamel Little unmarked graves personalized pieces of my impermanence Ghost of You I haven't seen your memory in a while A sharpened internal clock reminded me of this, my tomb heart a shrine to your absence, this decayed palace of broken walls. The thick sheets of plaster that house my canopy crumble, tumbling down, white powders anoint my head. The ancient waves of torment that come to crush me -A moat outside my door- have remained dormant for so long that even their foam, bearing a sting bright with pain wracks my body in two when they come for me again. I can no longer see your ghost. You are no longer a voice away- your call ceased, your soul turned a corner I cannot peek around. A curtain larger and heavier than any wall, ocean, or sky separates us. I am the ghost, not you and my catacombs of what love I held are quaking at the thought of you. Along Comes Mother Along comes Mother and her twisted roots when I have celebratory news. The glass sparkles with liquid that looks like roses and I am moments from paradise in a cranium mostly deadened by hereditary faults and the bastille of undealt-with traumas, long festered. Along comes Mother and her imposing bones, her overpowering voice that banishes me to a corner so easily as though I'm a child once more, her giant vocal cords that thunder through my garden, flood my sprouting words leave mud and water everywhere, plucked petals and trampled stems, her blackened vines spidering up a crumbling trellis. Murderess of an atrium of teeth and thought, my happiness a dead stain on the marble, a splotch where shrill rainwater keeps falling through shredded windows, the winds and thunder roaring through the empty frames, Along comes Mother and the disease she passed along to me Bio From 2020: December Lace is a former professional wrestler from Chicago. She is currently a pin-up model and cosplayer. She has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Pro Wrestling Illustrated, the Molotov Cocktail, Vamp Cat, The Cabinet of the Heed, Fevers of the Mind, Kissing Dynamite, and Mookychick, among others.