please make them stop 

They follow

As I swallow gulps of hazy regrets

Set in the unsettling of my stomach

When my back gets wet and mouth dry

In a heaving crying sigh of longing

For relief. I want to keep the fantasy

Alive, striving to sleep at night, 

Unmoved by the black spirits

That tie my wrists in twists

Of bound terror. Raping my love

with nightmares of rusting

Syringes sticking my chest 

With corroding trust, needles thrust 

Into my belly, leeching syrupy essence

Of rarely-present lust. I burrow my fury,

Purge anguish through a manic soliloquy.

The demons that hang above my head

Fill the dreadful night with the 

Stench of fright and desire for flight,

Away; off a cliff, into the bright 

White light. 


How can I explain this anguish, 

Pain in my brain? 

How do I describe it to the sane? 

How? How?

I’m hollowed, gutted of hope, 

A cheap trope for healing, feeling unreal,

Revealing bitter distaste and disdain

For love or coping. 


Silence envelopes the darkened room; 

I assume the position of reconciliation,

Conditional upon my promise to let myself

Bloom. I’m attuned to the peace 

In the dissipation of musty plumes,

Memories of fluttering doves departed from 

This sense of doom. I crawl back 

To bed like a weary stray, praying 

To stay in your arms for one more day. 

by Angela Castillo (2019)

Angela baby



A single


Of water plucks

Harp strings;

Liquid flutters

Like blooming kisses

Of bubble music.

Feet feel

Slippery rocks


Smoothed by souls

Before me,

But not so many

To grate them to sand.


Like the lumps

In my throat;

Every stone a

Gag in my step

Until I reach

Sand submerged

By dreams left to thaw.

I expand

Into the ripples,

Into the waves,

Started by a single tear.

By Angela Castillo (2019)

Forgive me, Forever

Sometimes it rocks me

Not to sleep, but a tremor of cracks

As I try to split identity from trauma

A dichotomy, a dilemma

Redundancy filtered over and over,

Conversations in the shower with

The young woman who can’t help

But take fault in the earthquakes

That shook this foundation.

The bitter imagination of a sleeping volcano

Festering an impending purge of fury;

It makes me worry for your safety.

I know your hands have been seared,

But I still fear the eruption

Of a false phoenix set on combustion.

The warm nights will pass and I will leak fire into the summer

And remember

That a dying star glimmers in the night.

The steam grows thinner by morning

When your arms hold me tight.

by Angela Castillo (2019)
original art by Angela Castillo


Unfamiliar are the whispers that drone the air.

My hair gently brushes cheek to tickle lashes,

My fickle happiness no longer a slashing wind-

Tunnel funneling smiles into putrid bile.

No, I just might stay here a while.

The smell of emptiness is comforting, for once;

Fragrances hurried along like a blur through a car window,

Becoming the merged watercolors of yesterday’s hopes

And tomorrow’s memories.

Lips are chapped like the chalked powder of eyeshadow,

The blinds no longer a shadow of tomorrow,

Tomorrow no longer blinding sunbeams of burning sorrow,

Joy flickers the cracked skin through a breaking smile.

Drink of the sunrise, sing the reprise of redeeming rays

That refract rainbows in prisms of eyes.

Water these colors and paint the day new.

They will be they, and you will be you.

by Angela Castillo (2019)