Two Poems

Chella Courington

Three-Quarter Time

I watched a woman
hair once the color of coal
shape bagels at the corner deli
her long fingers
looping dough around her hand
rolling it on white marble
until a round tube twirled
in on itself.

She dropped the circle
into steaming water
the dough rose swollen & wet

Through her I saw
faintly a girl
in dark braids sitting
at a Wurlitzer
turning pages faster & faster
until the paper floated up
my hands holding to the treble clef
swinging above brick and tile
through altostratus clouds.

 

The Steady Drain of Habit

as two bodies
side by side
sharing the same bed
same morning coffee
wake one Wednesday
or maybe Sunday
see the other
etched in lines
crevices of the past
and walk away
to find what’s lost.

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Chella Courington is a writer and teacher. With a Ph.D. in American and British Literature and an MFA in Poetry, she is the author of six poetry and three flash fiction chapbooks. Her poetry appears in numerous anthologies and journals including Non-Binary Review, Pirene’s Fountain, and The Los Angeles Review.

 

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Two Poems

Chella Courington

Ready, Always

Outside
red dahlias drooped.

Inside he put the fan
in the window

she sliced lemons
drank sweet tea over ice.

“Is it too hot to make love?”
He leaned down

kissed the scar
next to her right breast.

When young she wore tight
white tee shirts pulling them closer.

Full of magic and ready
always ready.

When his hand brushed them
they blushed.

When he kissed them
they grew.

Some days he wondered
where he would be

without them
how he would live with what was left.

 

Her Persian Rug Is An Elegy She Tries to Write

Lush red wool
edged in green
Turkish horseman
at the border
unfurls
at night.

By morning
loose threads scatter.
One by one
she collects them
in a glass bowl

long ago holding
goldfish
won at a fair
when fairs
existed.

Now she weaves
lonely strands
into a mourning shawl
before the next invasion.

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Chella Courington is a writer and teacher. With a Ph.D. in American and British Literature and an MFA in Poetry, she is the author of four poetry and three flash fiction chapbooks. Her poetry and stories appear in numerous anthologies and journals including SmokeLong Quarterly, Nano Fiction, The Los Angeles Review, and The Collagist. Her recent novella, The Somewhat Sad Tale of the Pitcher and the Crow, is available at Amazon. Reared in the Appalachian South, she now lives in Santa Barbara, CA with another writer and two cats but can still buck dance thirty minutes straight.