She cleaves the obscene laminated tapestries from the walls. She listens to songs that do her triumphing for her. She does her own weeping, enough for a river, which she rafts on the board of a ribcage wracked with sobs. She strangles the notes that escape her vocal cords in the dark. She prays, prostrate, and waits reply. She peels the flesh from her fingertips.
She cleans the cavity of her chest, seals the letters with wax, buries them in a box. She follows the voices, farther off than ever. She showers, long enough to forget what she was thinking of. She lets aisles and meals slip by. She slips off her dress, off her raft, drowns in the pages of books. She lulls herself to sleep with the soundtrack of the city she left behind. She writes new letters to old friends. She hangs her clothes, her hopes, anything but herself. She keeps silence for the voices that answer her. She bandages her fingers.
Cecilia M. Gigliotti (she/her) earned the MA in English literature from Central Connecticut State University and then moved to Berlin, Germany, where she is now based. Blue Muse magazine awarded her the 2018 Leslie Leeds Poetry Prize for “Igor Stravinsky Awaits the Arrival of Dylan Thomas.” Her short fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and photography have appeared in publications including The Atticus Review, Plainsongs, Boudin, The Route 7 Review, Uncomfortable Revolution, A Feast of Narrative (vols. 2 & 3), and DoveTales: Writing for Peace . She also serves as Poetry Editor of the Connecticut Literary Festival Anthology, vol. 2, due out in fall 2021. Connect with her on Twitter (@CeciliaGelato) and Instagram (@c_m_giglio), and visit her at cosifaccioio.com.