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December Song

"Later / tonight, a baby will be put into my body by an act of love"

Published onMar 24, 2021
December Song

*after “The Same City” by Terrance Hayes        

It is unseasonably warm one night in early December 

and I am still a young drama student not yet knowing 

how long I will remember this. This is my chance to 

prove my worth in the first starring role given to me 

in a macabre comedy about rodeo and murderous 

cowboys and zombies. In a holster at my side, 

an antique pistol borrowed from a collection of relics. 

For almost two hours tonight, I will find splendor in the 

crash and bang, bang of my body cavorting like an outlaw 

among the others on this stage, but I have been asked to handle 

this heirloom at my side with care. To whom I am to prove 

myself neither am I yet sure. Until this point I have not yet

considered to whom I owe what, only what has been 

taken from me unfairly. Tonight I will go home from

our cast party with a boy and my life’s plan of becoming a 

professional actress will end abruptly after our bodies join in

acts of passion that puts a baby into my unsuspecting body.

Let me begin again. I believe in things that are holy. Later

tonight, a baby will be put into my body by an act of love 

I will create with a man I have reached out to for comfort 

because of a history of love shared by us. There is not one 

macabre thought in my head tonight about my sister’s body 

resting one mile from here as the crow flies, and how 

never again on this earth will her body walk among the living.

Think instead of Mary on her way to where, I do not know, 

her plans arrested by the spirit for the work of her mortal body 

giving life to this world’s most precious and lasting gift. I am still 

a young woman when even before I suspect its presence, 

a life is given to me that allows my life’s beginning.

Lisa Keeton is a third-year candidate in the Creating Writing MFA Program at the University of Missouri- St. Louis. Her work has been published in The River Bluff Review and at Kalopsia Literary Journal, and is in consideration at small presses nationwide.

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