CM Gigliotti

It Takes a Lot

i never got the revisited part unless you count that it’s my revisitation, & like the original with the angel G (or somebody) it’s a holy disconcert. where i come from we don’t have that future epigram, the one that pushes up off my throat, breaks me down, reduces me to begging to stop please mercy i can’t take much more of you you’re going to be the death of me with your utter lack of self-consciousness like you don’t even know what the word means like you burn with the contempt of it in your voice and your eyes and your face and how you wail it makes me want to kiss all those parts of you and others, straddle you where you sit at the piano i never knew you could play. oh the marvelous unfairness of it all how you don’t care what you do to me it takes a lot to laugh it takes a train to admit without flinching away from the edge i couldn’t say why my mouth is stopped up like an organ pipe and my hands clam up until the world would slide right out of them if i held it, held you the way i envy anyone suicidal enough to (that’s mr. jones for you, john). you don’t do a number on me you are a number unto yourself, whatever number you wanna be baby because i know mere numerals have never stopped you longer than a road sign. all this will go down when it goes down on paper someday when my foolishness wins out and i come to terms with being nowhere nearer you than i was at fifteen—because my dear i’m positively—whenever i get to thinking anything you touch can’t touch me it’s already tripping up my heels. the only thing you need to know is the continuous coming beneath the soles of my feet, the rumble between my thighs, the keening. i hope you’re proud.




My throat speaks.

It lengthens, it pulses.

It knows it will be on display.

It wants to project grace

like a swan’s neck, irresistible.

It bottles the fear preserved

in the dryness of my mouth.




Her apartment smells of incense.

I don’t know her well but I trust her.

She smells of lavender in all her pores.

She’s saying that I am safe, that I am

at her mercy, and I had better follow

where she leads me. I would follow

that mellifluous voice anywhere. The

sound comes from different directions

while she takes her pleasure with me. My

throat’s tightness loosens and I shake in

every single part. Eventually I cling to her

as to a life raft. She tells me how good

I am. I’ve thought she was something else,

something higher, a seraph.





Hi. I’d like a cappuccino with oat milk, please.

                                                                        For here or to take away?

For here, please. By the way, I like your button.

                                                                        Oh, thanks, they’re one of my favorite bands.

Mine too.

                                                                        Will that be all?

Oh. Yes. I think so. For now.

                                                                        Three-twenty, please.

Here you are. Keep the change.

                                                                        We’ll bring it right over.

Thank you.


C. M. Gigliotti is a US-born, Berlin-based multi-hyphenate artist. She holds an MA in English Literature from Central Connecticut State University and a BA in Creative Writing from the Writers Institute at Susquehanna University. Her work has appeared in Longreads, VIA, Beatdom, Scraps, Plainsongs, and DoveTales: Writing for Peace, among others.

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The Erozine