Chella Courington

While the World


Lying on the bed without you, my nude body in the mirror, I want to arrange my legs and arms, torso and face so you feel your head in the crook of my arm, your legs in mine, my belly heating yours.


Oh what we took for granted two weeks ago, talking so close our lips blew warm, exhaling and inhaling into each other.


Coming together, our skin covered with cracks for sweat and oil, smearing your beauty with mine, then tussling and tangling again.


Kahlo knew how to paint herself, wounded woman with a broken column.


Diego had no idea, turning his brush away from her, from Frida who cropped her hair and rose again in bright hues of yellow and red.


Once you whispered breathe me in, your mouth on mine, and we did for hours—one body, one heart.


When the sun fell, dreams turned into sirens and make-shift morgues in Central Park.


Now, I offer you, my love, this reflection of me.



Where Swallows Nest


Quiet is overrated.


Unsettled by the silence, I miss the horns and yells, the crosscurrent of people at each corner.


Already blue hydrangeas and yellow roses welcome a different kind of spring as the cayote and alligator, monkey and rat take to the deserted streets.


Rarely do we retreat in full force from the outdoors, abandoning sidewalks and pools and golf courses and parks.


And now behind walls, where our droplets fall in isolation, we see the sun rise in clear skies, wondering when the earth has ever been so pristine.


Never have I wanted someone to stay by my side, share coffee in the morning and Cabernet at night.


This desire for solitude decays as I sit here.


I need more than my books and music, intellect and memory, more than my own touch.


Need is a word I once refused.


Every cell of my body cries for someone to hold me.



Chella Courington is a writer and teacher whose poetry and fiction appear or are forthcoming in numerous anthologies and journals including SmokeLong Quarterly, The Collagist, and The Los Angeles Review. Her novella, Adele and Tom: The Portrait of a Marriage, is available at Breaking Rules Publishing. Courington lives in California.