Kay Bell

two women hugging each other
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Sisters (for Melissa) by Kay Bell

Two girls.
No pigtails,
or “what do you want to be when you grow up?” stories,
just grandma trembling,
with abandonment.
Two girls,
seasoned with dilemmas,
looking for love and pain, in New York City.
No pigtails,
grandma’s tears.
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

First published in MOKO, Caribbean Arts and Letters. Reprinted with permission by the author.

Kay Bell is the author of the poetry chapbook Cry Sweat Bleed Write (Lily Poetry Review Books). She earned an MFA in Creative Writing at The City College of New York, where she was also the 2015 recipient of The Esther Unger Poetry Prize & the 2018 co-recipient of The David Dortort Prize in Creative Writing for Non-Fiction. Kay’s poems have been published in the book, Brown Molasses Sunday: An Anthology of Black Women Writers, The Lily Poetry ReviewMoko: Caribbean Arts and LettersPithead Chapel and other venues. She lives in the South Bronx and is passionate about issues that affect marginalized communities and bringing the arts back into public schools.