Rigorous
Volume Two, Issue 2



Marlboro Hill affair

Shatara Liora


One night my stepmother sat and made three cups of coffee
back to back
as if begging for some sort of manic episode onset
that would make her bells and whistles
a chaotic beauty with ragged canvas in mom jeans with leopard trim
and by that third cup she’s a blinking marquee
of caffeine and sugar and odd heavy eyes
that want to excuse themselves but also want to break out their party dress
and dance with every guest with great hair and good stories
she was trying to wait for my father to come home because it would be late
and he would smell like perfume and Marlboro lights
and her eyes would gently beg him for a better lie than the last one
one with glitter that smoked Marlboros in long sleek holders
and he would oblige in the greatest way as he peeled off his work clothes

this all was in a tiny apartment on top of a hill
far from glorious and not a piece of a nostalgia you’d expect wearing ribbons
just the kind that molds you into a think piece nobody thinks about or cares for
the kind writers lose sleep to create but won’t tell anyone because they won’t understand
they’ll say it’s cliché
but the artist knows it’s brilliant
every time it repeats itself in different ways. 


Shatara Liora: "I am a creative writer, poet, therapist, womanist advocate and author of East of A Cold Red Sun and Love's Third Eye. I was born in Wahiawa, Hawaii and have lived in countries such as Greece, Iceland, and Spain before returning to the US. My writings reflect life, love, womanhood, cultural empowerment, self awareness, spirituality, grief, trauma, and healing in all of its rawest forms which give off a soft therapeutic touch and a taste of art."




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