Poems by December Lace in Fevers of the Mind Anthologies

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.