Poetry Suite by Shatara Liora

Editor Katie Collins Guinn, Poetry, June 26th, 2020

"are you now made of flowers and white flames?"


Poetry by Shatara Liora



the wait


I broke myself in half to see if there was still honey inside of me
to see if there were still stars silently waiting
to see if I bled out gold
to see if there were still teeth lodged in
to see if the night lingered underneath my pores
to see if morning glory created daffodils there
to see if I was a flowerbed or a grave
to see if old lovers hid there
or new ones
who smelled
the honey
from a mile away
and wore masks
and carried bees in their mouths




white sky x smoke


when you threw out your heart and got a new one
did it beat the same?
did the sun kiss your face again?
did you feel like a virgin again or a whore in a new dress?
did you wake up to nightmares that had you tangled up in the limbs of
different lovers?

do you have sage burning?
or are you now made of flowers and white flames?




Black romona


she ate honeydew to make her body taste good to men
then she poured salt in their wounds
because her father told her to
because her mother went to the store and never came back






if only her little hands had touched kinky-haired dolls
as her delicate psyche formulated ideals
of beauty and feminism

if only western ideals had not ruptured her
did not weigh so much
did not make her feel she should pray
for blue eyes and porcelain skin

if only society
had put her on a pedestal too
if only she had not been taught
to despise
her own richness
and worship
any texture but her own

if only her scars did not still fester
for only the salves she herself makes
soothes them



Read the Interview with Shatara Liora here.

Header image courtesy of Tim Okamura. To view his Artist Feature, go here.

Shatara Liora is a writer, poet, and mental health therapist residing in Charlotte, NC. She has lived all over the world and loves art, museums, and all things vintage. Shatara has been published in Rigorous Literary Magazine and Black Girl In Om in addition to her own indie poetry collections “East of A Cold Red Sun” and “Love’s Third Eye”. She currently serves as an editorial assistant for Qu Literary Magazine.

You can find more about Shatara and purchase her books here: https://shataraliora.com/bio/

‘the wait’, ‘white sky x smoke’, and ‘Black romona’ have been previously published in Liora’s collection Love’s Third Eye, available here.

‘texture’ has been previously published in Liora’s collection East of a Cold Red Sun, available here.


Katie Collins Guinn

Katie is an artist, mother of blood and non-blood daughters, writer, wifey, g-ma, flower gardener, North Portlander and lover of the beautiful. She earned a degree in the fine arts of apparel design, and constructs art through cloth via couture garments.

She's spent time as a contributing freelance writer for the Portland Mercury. She's part of the corporeal writing family, which has brought about work that's been hiding in her lungs, liver and heart for years.

Her adult coloring book The Stoner Babes was published in 2018 with Microcosm Publishing. She’s had work appear in Nailed Magazine, Entropy and The Manifest-station.

She co-parents 21 roses and counting.