The Bell Rang & They Were Erased
Diane kept thinking she’d turn the corner and her mother would be waiting,
arms filled with purple glads—long stems like her long fingers for arranging
flowers, marriages, bridge parties at 3 pm in the living room. Wearing straight
skirts and sweater sets, twelve women tallied score and sipped coffee from
bone china. Smoke rings rose and circled the cards while Diane hid with Joni
Mitchell in her bedroom and believed songs were like tattoos filling empty
spaces. Emptiness then was being alone in a high school of 500 kids, sitting at
the back of seventh-grade English and watching Miss Davis diagram sentences
as if they were people on a wire—mostly solitary figures dangling on a string.
Logical relationships in terms of their syntactic positions. But nothing of who
they would become when their tongues uncurled and their hearts split.
This selection comes from Chella Courington’s chapbook Girls & Women, available from Burning River. Contact Chella to purchase your own copy!
Chella Courington is a poet, fiction writer and educator. She’s the author of six chapbooks: Love Letter to Biology 250 (forthcoming from Porkbelly Press), Girls & Women, Talking Did Not Come Easily to Diana, Southern Girl Goes Wrong, Paper Covers Rock, and Flying South (forthcoming from A Kind of Hurricane Press). Her flash fiction has appeared in several anthologies including Up, Do Flash Fiction by Women Writers. Poetry and stories have appeared in numerous anthologies and journals including SmokeLong, Nano Fiction, The Collagist, and Fourteen Hills. She lives in Santa Barbara, CA, with another writer and two cats and teaches at Santa Barbara City College
Andrew Koch’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Bluestem, Connotation Press, Mojo, Rust + Moth, and others. Although a Tennessee-native, Andrew presently lives in Spokane, Washington with his wife and cat while teaching literature and pursuing his MFA in Creative Writing at Eastern Washington University.
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