Chella Courington

Eerie Copper Light

Diana didn’t know love but she knew Faulkner. From Alabama to Mississippi, Lena Grove walked so she could be with Lucas Burch. Until Emily Grierson died, she slept with Homer Barron’s corpse. Sacrifices to the extreme. Diana had never met a man who made her want to give up much of anything. Her marriage in training to the CPA was convenient. He was the right age, her age of twenty-eight. He was the right family, the Schilles of Birmingham. They had owned a department store by the same name for four generations up to the day Macy’s bought it. But she grew tired of his sticky yellow demands on the bathroom mirror, refrigerator, and front door. You will have the clothes washed by tomorrow, you will come in before 7 p.m., you will eat Sunday dinner with my family . . . you will, you will. His manner of insistence evoked the Ten Commandments on Post-it notes. After five years and untold paper trails, she felt herself fading. On a late afternoon in August when an eerie copper light covers Alabama, Diana walked out on the CPA.

Nominated for the 2009 Best of the Net Anthology and the 2009 Best New Poets (University of Virginia), Chella Courington teaches literature and writing at Santa Barbara City College. Her recent work appears or is forthcoming in The Los Angeles Review, Lo-Ball, Gargoyle, Opium Magazine, and Pirene’s Fountain. Her first poetry chapbook was Southern Girl Gone Wrong and her second, Girls & Women, was released by Burning River in March.


  1. I really like how the piece draws on Faulkner as a huge backstory for this compressed flash on love. Every word here is so right--sticky yellow demands, the Ten Commandments on Post-it notes, eerie copper light.
    Where can I read more about Diana?

  2. Touching, and true. You hit my heart.