Issue 7,  Poetry

Cinderella Reflects on her Gateway by December Lace

I don’t want to spend the rest of my life running down steep palace steps with a swollen ankle bound in glass and a shoeless foot, throbbing vagina, my evening interrupted by strokes of a clock whose noise tears the world in two // No, I’m devastated to be running away from broad shouldered royalty with clean teeth and wet lips- // 

The rine of a giant pumpkin lies exploded in the road, pieces stuck in muddy ruts like dying flames in the earth, the edges embedded, useless in guiding me to a better life // my route creating corns on my feet // towards a crumbling estate so I can sleep on cracked stone with the remaining ashes of my father while my wicked stepsisters two mock me and my grief // My heart is palpitating at the thought of step-mother witch-woman beating my cheeks with a broomstick handle because I tasted the night sky instead of embers and soot // Her eyes singe in her sockets and she’s birthed greed twice // She doesn’t wear desperation well, living in a mansion of debt, gowns of destitution, a face of proper upbringing masking the poverty she grinds in my face // 

My heart beats poetry and songs while birds chirp freedom to me, beaks rattling as sweet sounds escape from rumbling ribcages // I will not be dressed in rags forever, a tattered ballgown, hems blanketed with muck, wind-bitten hair chewed by branches, combed by thorns, devout to a fireplace, breathing in fumes- // No-I will be exhaling smoke someday, a dragon soul emerging from a midnight garden, legs untangling themselves from roots, just you wait // The next time a clock strikes, I’ll have battle-ready feet, built on the ditches of this abandoned country road and a beaten back, skin spread over thickened muscle, a pumping heart enclosed by a hand-sewn bodice, ribbons laced by someone else’s quivering hands


December Lace is a former professional wrestler and pinup model from Chicago. She is a Best of the Net nominee and has appeared in the Chicago TribunePro Wrestling IllustratedThe Molotov Cocktail, Pussy Magic Lit, The Cabinet of Heed, Vamp Cat, Twist in Time, Coffin Bell, Dark Marrow and Rhythm & Bones YANYR Anthology, among others. She loves Batman, burlesque, cats, and horror movies. She can be found on Twitter @TheMissDecember or

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