Two Poems by Allison Field Bell

Allison Field Bell

Allison Field Bell

Allison Field Bell is originally from northern California but has spent most of her adult life in the desert. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Prose at the University of Utah, and she has an MFA in Fiction from New Mexico State University. Her prose appears in SmokeLong Quarterly,The Gettysburg Review, Shenandoah, New Orleans Review, West Branch, Epiphany, Alaska Quarterly Review, The Pinch, and elsewhere. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in The Cincinnati Review, Palette Poetry, South Dakota Review, Sugar House Review,The Greensboro Review, Nimrod International Journal, and elsewhere.


He pushed her / outside. Or maybe / inside, 
he may have / pushed her / inside. / a threshold, 
and she / crossed it / cold kitchen tile / snow drift porch. 
Splintered wood / sandstone. Indiana / Arizona. 

This woman / five stories / up and two rooftops
air between. This / is San Francisco! Wind
fog, the paint / bucket she’ll piss in / later. She’s
back and forth / and drunk / unreasonable.

Indiana, on her / knees in his / kitchen where
last week, he poured / wine, reasonable. Lucky
he isn’t much / a monster. What is a wrist
recolored? Skin stain / wine / bruise

The door is / the threshold, then the skin
is. / If she didn’t have / it, he wouldn’t 
bruise it. But, Indiana / in winter: nothing
keeps / its color.         

He pushes her / outside: Arizona in a / hallway. 
Lucky, / she isn’t much a woman. / Sideways / just a sliver
on a mattress, and / it’s his bed isn’t it? She 
is the threshold, then / the air / the roof / the skin.

If she wasn’t / didn’t / he 







copper cloaked, acacia 

silhouettes. I’m

 in my freebox skirt,

cut-sleeve t-shirt. Glass

of arak,                            mint leaf suspended

   above ice.        here, now, 

the worst worry                                    is animal. 

Snake,             spider,               solifuge. 

I                      wander among rocks, 

sipping, watching my

skin go gold.



Just last night,

I had               a man here, out

in the                          desert,              at the date palm 

roofed             mud hut, built 

by children.    He dragged

a mattress                                         out to 

fuck me.         Now, in the dust,

alone,              I practice saying

no.                  No thank you,                        I say 

to the warm evening air. 

I kick a rock,   watch it 

stir         up a tiny cloud.



Wasn’t                        even him 

I wanted.                   His girlfriend:

long      black hair,         laughter

     contagious.      I didn’t know 

      how to say that            either.              How 

to think it.                              She will not

forgive me.                  She will call 

     me American slut.          American

   whore.    Bitch.             Later

still,     she will            marry him,

   have his            two children. 



Right now,      alone,              I

        can hear          the military in 

                     their adjacent desert.             Distant

         crack of          weapons.           The Negav:

   riddled with war. 

      Stars flicker 

to life.           Soon the sky   will be full

  of them.                                Soon, I will be

back                            on the kibbutz, 

confessing.               I will drink

                                        arak with men, smoke 

         nargila with men. I 

   will feel the night

   change, air cooler,

stars brighter.