Marakata by Chella Courington

I am not a silent poet

No longer riding

rock drills

Burhan pours rice

in boiling water

pulls naan

out of a cloth bag.

His kidneys failing

he’s breathed

too much.

Red cough

black cracks

in his nails.

Waiting for miners


the Hindu Kush Mountains

he spreads dough

around the tandoor’s

hot sides.


like the earth’s chambers.

Chisels & hammers

slash walls

gash the land

for an emerald

to lay

in a piggish palm.

Brief Biography: 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…

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