No longer riding the rock drill, Burhan pours rice in boiling water and pulls naan from the cloth bag. His kidneys failing, he’s already breathed too much dust. Dark cracks in his nails and a red cough. The miners emerge from under the Hindu Kush Mountains, and the village baker spreads dough around the hot sides of the tandoor. Cylindrical like the earth chambers: chisels and hammers slash the walls, gashing the earth in search of an emerald to lay on the palm.




Chella Courington is a writer and teacher. She’s the author of three chapbooks of poetry along with three flash fiction chapbooks. Her poetry and stories have appeared in numerous anthologies and journals including SmokeLong Quarterly, Nano Fiction, and The Collagist. Her novella, The Somewhat Sad Tale of the Pitcher and the Crow, has been launched by Pink.Girl.Ink. Press and is available at Amazon. Born and raised in the Appalachian South, she now lives in Santa Barbara, CA, with another writer and two cats.