Gabriella M. Belfiglio

Gabriella M. Belfiglio

Gabriella M. Belfiglio lives in Brooklyn, NY. She teaches self-defense, conflict resolution, and karate. Her work has been published in many anthologies and journals including The Centrifugal Eye, Folio, Avanti Popolo, Poetic Voices without Borders, The Potomic Review, and Lambda Literary Review.

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If I Were to Be

          I’d be a house cat
          live with owners who
          let me cuddle amidst
          their clean warm laundry

If I emerge again, like Persephone
          I’d be a cardinal
          reside in a colony
          of trees
          fly red through the air

          I’ll be a piano
          dwell in a concert
          of students whose fingers
          steer me to sing.

If I come back as a fish
          I hope my lover is
          the turquoise waves
          of the Tyrrhenian Sea

If I grow new as a vegetable
          I’ll be the spiky petaled
          tender-hearted artichoke

In another life
          I’ll be a star
          bright enough
          to be wished upon
          light years away

If I were to begin again after death
          I would brush
          Mt. Etna dust
          with my bee wings
          in a quest to pollinate
          the scattered Saponaia 

Achilles’ Heel

My foot evenly
thrusts the treadle
which turns the wheel
right in time.
The triad of body,
mind and spirit
abet this mirage,
try to abridge
the momentum of change,
remain in the sea’s headwaters
only ankle deep.

Meanwhile, the heat lightning’s
diagonal flash cuts the sky
into triangles:

a black deeper than the heavens,
cumulonimbus tumbling,
and a patch of calm blue.


I tell myself: become a gypsy
wear billowy skirts, string bells
around ankles, weave hair
with deep-colored ribbons—
plum crimson charcoal.

Carry little:
pack a knife
and don’t leave
without books
full and empty
of words.

Follow the Mediterranean Sea—
the shape of your pelvis.
Cover your skin with the scent
of jasmine and keep walking

even if feels like a maze
even if it feels like
you will never escape
moving in circles
round and round
the same shitty path.

Find a ripe
lemon or fig
and let it become
your mouth.

Maybe if you don’t expect to feel
at home at the end of the day
it will hurt less.
Maybe you won’t feel alone
if you look into every set of eyes
like a friend’s.

Poetry in this post: © Gabriella M. Belfiglio
Published with the permission of Gabriella M. Belfiglio