please make them stop
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
How can I explain this anguish,
Pain in my brain?
How do I describe it to the sane?
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)
Of water plucks
Like blooming kisses
Of bubble music.
Smoothed by souls
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
By dreams left to thaw.
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
That a dying star glimmers in the night.
The steam grows thinner by morning
When your arms hold me tight.
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)