Poems by Kendall A. Bell

A strange bird injures a wing

When did you know that something had
invaded your body? That mass, that cluster
of cells that fed on your insides. A parasite
that leeched to an organ, tried to steal
your voice and leave you gray and hollow.
You traded the smell of sound boards and
crackling microphone pops for the sterile
air of a hospital, your name, not on a poster
but on your wrist – a clipboard, a consent
form. We will bandage your wing, give you
shelter in the aftermath. Soon, you will be
pushed from our hands again to soar into
the blue of spring.


When you checked out, gave up

The roads carried your hollowed pieces down
into a ravine, left you as blowing leaves
in between dead, rotted branches scattered
on the spongy earth. You are a peel out
over gray cement – deep black lines left
where you once would stride. Your eyes
focused straight, sun visor down, wheels
moving steadily to the shore, to the sand,
to some other pound of flesh willing to
be swallowed whole by your dead weight.


Are you dazzled by the same constellation?

The one that shines brighter than any
night sky that draped over our old,
outdated house? You raise a finger
and play connect the dots with the
stars, each shining like holes in the
black paper of a Lite Brite. We look
for Venus, wonder if other galaxies can
see into our front yard, if they stare
at the overgrown evergreens and judge
us. I slip my goosebumped arm around
your back, your head still craned to
the sky. You are caught in some other


The distance between us

is the sound of voices streaming over
the internet, the long stretches of
flatlands. It is tolls and bridges
over rivers and industry. It is the
flashing cursor in notepad, the words
forming from fingers. It is the empty
wind of April, pushing you further from
me. It is the silhouette in the light
of morning, miles away in a kitchen.
It is the hole in me, never filled in
your absence.


Kendall A. Bell’s poetry has been most recently published in Thick With Conviction and Hobo Camp Review. He was nominated for Sundress Publications’ Best of the Net collection in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015. He is the author of seventeen chapbooks. His current chapbook is “How To Disappear”. 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.


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