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Erika Castaldo Jan 2017
When I first walked into Hell,
I didn’t even realize it had happened.
It was like out of nowhere,
The puppies became hellhounds
And the beautiful lakes became
Pits of lava.

The sun was now too hot and
The clouds were getting darker.
The gray sky seemed endless
And time was meaningless.

Shackles wrapped around my wrists
And ankles,
Holding me prisoner in my own

The black smoke that then flew
From my throat was accompanied
By a shrill wail
And I watched with wide eyes
As a gargoyle materialized in front
Of me
And sat atop my lungs.

I tried my best to scream,
But all I could muster were
A few mere whimpers.

It was then that I heard the
Noise surrounding me.
I looked around to see people
Smiling and laughing with the

Someone waved me over
And held up a glass of
Red liquid.

I said nothing.

The woman shrugged
And turned back to the

Did they not see all of it?
The lava, the shackles,
The gargoyle sitting on top
Of me?

I looked into the eyes of
The fearsome creature and
It disappeared before my eyes,
Along with the shackles.

I stood up on shaking feet.
I could still feel the weight
Of him on my lungs
And the restraints around
My wrists
and ankles.
Erika Castaldo Nov 2016
Right in the middle of the busiest area of the Poconos, the group of condos sit in a large circle. The sky is dark, for it has been hidden from all possible sunlight by the many awnings and porches that join the different housing units. On one side of the condos the neon lights from the bar next door shine through the children’s windows, but the more occupied side the parking lot is lined with fast food restaurants- clumped together and riotous with large families that frequent them, juggling their small children and many diaper bags; and noisy cars speeding past with loud engines, pungent, murky exhaust spewing out of the back and police sirens constantly blaring down the street. In the parking lot encircled by the condos the tenant kids run around full of light yet somehow full of darkness at the same time. The older kids come out of the small houses to sit on the sidewalk in the evening, and the cracked sidewalks are covered with the faded chalk drawings left there by the youngsters earlier in the day, and with the sheets of crumbled up paper containing poetry no one would ever read, and with the old needles and discarded blunts of their parents who had left them there over the course of the day.

There is one unit in particular, a unit with a broken door from the many men who had tried to force their way in, a unit with holes in every wall that were put there by flying fists and thrown objects that had missed their true target- the oldest daughter. In front of the many holes in the their smiles are fake and their hugs are forced.
  Sep 2016 Erika Castaldo
Maria Etre
I left you a threat
under my pillow
on the left side of your bed
my heart told me to so do

I left you years of care
hoping they'd sleep
and drift into dream
maybe become memories

I left you wishes
here and there
but for some reason
it just felt unfair

I left you watches
hoping time would treat you well
and remind you
of things passed

I left you kisses
on your back
hoping they'd serenade you to sleep
on sleepless nights

I left you with a scent
that I thought
would shake your fossilized
memories of me

I left you,
way before you left me
but not really
I never did
  Sep 2016 Erika Castaldo
Ephemeral Em
I wouldn't wish me on your worst enemy
I'm the thoughts late at night that make you cry yourself to sleep
I'm the bullet in the gun that you're holding to your head
I'm the whispers in the silence that make you wish you were dead

I'm a walking natural disaster
I will tear you limb from limb
I'm just a living fiasco
Waiting for you to invite me in

My hair shines red like the blood running through your veins
It's just a hint of what you'll see if you let me stay
I walk like an angel, but don't let yourself be fooled
There is no god in the kingdom where I rule

My lips are coated in poison
I'm told they taste like death
But soon you'll be addicted because
There's nicotine on my breath

With just one kiss, you'll bow down to me
Not even complaining when I make you bleed
You'll head down the path of self destruction by my side
By the time you realize, it'll be too late; there's nowhere to hide

I'm not your temptress
But believe what you must
I'm just my own mess
Want to turn to dust

Hell-bent on self destruction, full of shame
Don't you dare care about me or mention my name
I'll stop for no one in my way
Darling, I can never be saved

Just save yourself
And run away
I'll **** myself
No matter what you say
I am writing a short story currently and am in need of an editor. It has to do with eating disorders and depression. If anyone is interested, tell me!
  Sep 2016 Erika Castaldo
I'm finding replicas of you in my insomnia
Smoke pouring from my nose
A manifestation of self destruction

The fear of death playing my lover
Sleeping on my bed sheets in my place
There is no shelf for my carousel thoughts
Heart of alternating magnetic poles

The quiet and the noise of night
Condradictons becoming rule of life
Forgetting how to breathe
But still remebring you in this insomnia
Erika Castaldo Sep 2016
Childhood is sacred,
No matter how good or
How bad.
For it is a time of blissful ignorance,
Before you learn that your mom's 'medicine' was just a shot of ******
And that your dad's 'friend' was just
His newest ****-buddy
Before you realize that you're broke
Because your mom is too busy drinking
To get a job
And your dad doesn't give a ****
Because he has a new family now.
Before you've been beaten down by the responsibility of caring for
Yourself and your brothers.

And before you know it that foolishness, that divine foolishness, has been ripped away and there is nothing left
But reality.

But years down the line you find yourself
Listening to your favorite song from when
You were five for the nostalgia
And sobbing while flipping through old photo albums
Even though you know that the man who brought the cake on your 3rd birthday was your mom's supplier
And that the woman behind the camera
Would become your first of many stepmothers.

But the look of joy on your face brings you to tears,
For it is a look you haven't seen
In fifteen years.
Something inspired by a discussion in class on Friday and the romantics.
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