She reads women in Afghanistan are beaten, sometimes to death, for writing poetry. A brother or husband finds the emotion filling the page a sign of passion for a hidden lover, her burqa not enough to shield her nakedness, or is it to shame her for being who she is, raven tresses and emerald eyes, able to weaken almost any man who desires what moves beneath the parahaan, bright colors or dark, just out of reach, rubbing against silk and cotton, turning inward to speak of her loneliness. A tulip in the desert dying before she opens.




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.