Message in Simple Delusion

By Shatara Liora

Watching the shadow of a woman ride a white horse into mountains without tops
There is a tiny girl twirling inside my jewelry box, her arms
are spread out as if happiness in a woman spreads out that way
spreads out like our holy bread

I am underneath a boy who’s heavy cross necklace swings into
my forehead with each careful thrust.  His beautiful Cadillac 
parked outside waits for nothing, has a sleeping
moth in its tailpipe

I think of my dead foremothers watching me or putting
away my laundry after she is done riding that horse, her shadow aflame
while my moans land on the textured
walls.  I would be ashamed, but I am too pulled apart 
to care. I am spreading

my arms into the night and into the day, an alpine swift
in the steel blue light coming into the window in the morning.  I am 
seeing you again on that white horse, calling 
out to no one in particular
I water my magnolias, call in sick

at dinner that night the
white horse floats through my window, becomes a
falling sliver of silk, lands on my lap and
becomes a memory, a combusted disillusion 
spreading, waiting

for me to become a woman
that can still find wisdom in dimly lit crevices, can move
through the thick of it, the tar of it, and still
rest my face in its coarse hands 

when he returns that night, I wait in silence
wine stained teeth, aching
he eyes the side of my face
puts his thick warm tongue in
my ear

a moth hums in the tailpipe of his cadillac
we both wait for nothing.

About the author:

Shatara Liora is a poet, writer, visual artist, and licensed therapist by trade. She has been published in Berkeley Poetry Review, Rigorous Literary Magazine, Black Girl In Om and has been featured in Nailed Magazine. She has also served as poetry editor for Qu Literary Magazine and has two indie poetry collections. In her spare time, she enjoys art galleries, museums, travel, and all things vintage. Twitter, Instagram and Facebook: @shataraliora Website:

Header photo by José Ignacio García Zajaczkowski on Unsplash

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