Most days, I am a museum of things I want to forget
(after E.E. Scott)
On this wall, a canvas with pasted, yellow cornered
pictures of a boy who sat by himself in classrooms.
A mantle with a broken soccer trophy next to an open
folder holding three certificates from a poetry contest.
A pair of work boots—their soles encrusted with crumbs
and dead dreams, with dried milk and coffee stains.
A reflection that gravity is catching up with, the sound
of crunching cartilage and bone.
The echoes of the voices of dissent, the laughter that
has always been in the same pitch, the same loop.
One more harsh winter will collapse the ceiling, will
mercifully crush its lone inhabitant.
Shutter the windows. Board up the doors. Mark this
I wanted our truth to warm me
but our distance kept a chill
in my marrow, left me scrambling
for arms that could quell an
insistent shiver. Inches spread
to miles, spread to oceans and
continents. Soon, all hope of
survival became extinct— a tundra
covered landscape, an abandoned
town where the earth has swallowed
time and hope.
I wanted the sincerity of your words
to become my gospel, the script to
the rest of my days.
All the stars in our sky have gone
Kendall A. Bell’s poetry has been most recently published in Blue Mountain Review and Better Than Starbucks. He was nominated for Sundress Publications’ Best of the Net collection in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015. He is the author of twenty three chapbooks. His current chapbook is called “Until The Light”. He is the founder and co-editor of the online journal Chantarelle’s Notebook and publisher/editor of Maverick Duck Press. His chapbooks are available through Maverick Duck Press. He lives in Southern New Jersey.