Poetry by Kay Bell φ Photography by Matt Gold




after the nicotine wanes

outta the blood, I go to the darken night

retreating to the ripped cotton blanket


bought under an impulse.

What used to make sense

toured my unease


and now the whole thing is a blur,

with swollen wrists and

blood darken nights that


were mine and what is

mine is yours

and what is yours belongs


to the day and the hour

we flipped our sanity

to the dead cigarettes


singing in the astray… 


 Library song


Because you appeared just when

the books collapsed,

and then,

stood at the table


the top layer of my woman hood,

and the frail points of every angle

I have formed.


I took you in,

biting your flesh ‘til the ugly parts showed.


You liked it.


We read the pages of life,

colored faces with no identity;

masculine versus feminine

and broken unions

swept under the dust.


My legs warned you.

I will not break here.


So, I fold you in my creases and save you for later.


What are we doing?

How did it come to this?


I’m tearing the pages from the books

and reading the stories in breaths.


Go home.


The light is on

and mahogany arms grab you,

carrying you

to where I cant reach.


The first Day of School


You never forget the first day of school

and your mum holding your hand-shaking

and the plate size pancakes that made your stomach full.

You adjust your black polyester skirt- and its

silver dime buttons against the side of a brand new woman

and let your mum’s hand go back to its place.

You walk in leather shoes, sliding against your ankles

and the itchy tights nailing the fresh silk of your thighs;

you wave goodbye without looking her in the face.

And then you meet your teacher, who could’ve been

your mum, her hands sturdy and firm, takes you to your seat

and you sit and intellectually forget the bruises on your darling mother’s face.


Kay Bell was born in Barbados and migrated to Harlem, New York when she could barely walk. She has been writing since she fell in love with the poetry form: Haiku in the 6th grade. Kay Bell’s work appears on the online quarterly journal: “The American Aesthetic” , in the book: “Brown Molasses Sunday: An Anthology of Black Woman Writers” as well as in other venues. Currently, she is earning a M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the City College of New York and lives in the South Bronx.


Originally from Ohio, Matt Gold has been living in Bloomington, Indiana for the past fifteen years and recently relocated to Brooklyn, NY. He divides his time between pursuing his musical career, acting auditions and photography.  As a singer and songwriter, Matt frequently performs; some of his music can be found online at
As evidence of the democratizing nature of this approach to photography, Matt has no formal training in the visual arts. When he took a simple picture of his cat on his Sony Ericsson Z310A flip phone, Matt was amazed by the quality of the camera. He started exploring different subjects and this collection has grown from that picture. He continues to use this technique today, despite the advancement in current cell phone technology.
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