Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted.
-Percy Shelley, A Defense of Poetry, 1821
KIRKUS REVIEW of Bright Stain
From Bell, a gritty poetry debut that examines the power and perils of womanhood, sex, and religion.
Bell finds beauty and horror in the tiny moments of life and turns them into art. “Besos” sensually recalls a first kiss with a boy who is later brutally beaten. The speaker unpacks the mortifying experience of developing breasts at age 14 but soon discovers how they make young men quake in “In Plain Sight.”
Every couple of years, I strip down to my underthings and let my dermatologist and her two assistants check my entire body for skin cancer. I admit I feel weird and a little chilly, being the only nearly naked person in the room, but I have become basically comfortable in my body and benign toward it. I even have the illusion, before the doctor arrives to examine me, that I am still, well, kind of hot.