The Swallowing Silence

– Opium and Opera –
by Jeremiah Castelo

When the Opium wears off,
my bones begin to ache
at every passing breeze,
my muscles succumb to gravity’s will,
and my skin is a blanket of pain.

When the Opera finally ends,
the silence is
as deafening as a drowning violin,
as lonely as a lost feather
floating on wandering wind,
as painful as heartache and heartburn,
and as uncomfortable
as undersized undergarment,
woven of wool, and worn
not in winter,
but in the stare of the summer sun.

When the cakes have all been eaten
and the wine has been drunk,
I’m a starving lion in a plastic jungle,
I’m the insatiable leviathan
sinking ship after abandoned ship,
I’m the salmon who drank the river dry,
I’m the sailor who swallowed the sea,
and the emperor who ate the earth,
country by country,
from crust to core.

When love has waxed cold
and passion has left,
winter walks everywhere
and screams with each step,
my lost lover’s face is seen in each breath,
crystals condense
on my heart and my hands,
and the night is as dark
as a stranger’s shadow.

When the Opium wears off
and the Opera finally ends,
our reality is too real to know,
the truth is too complex to comprehend,
the pain goes beyond
what our threshold can fathom,
and the silence is as loud as death.


Jeremiah Castelo is an avid seeker of truth who isn’t afraid to admit he’s been tragically mislead, more than once. His offbeat list of life experiences isn’t one to be found on a resume designed to impress nor on a gravestone meant to commemorate, but is as structural to his writing as his skeleton is to his body. He now resides in the Washington DC area, pursuing missionary and non-profit work through poetic, photo-journalistic, and musical means. Links: Psalms and Psychoses / Facebook: Jeremiah Castelo.

Artwork: Confusion / Roswita Szyszka


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I am a dreamer, as well as a doer, who lives in the North Georgia mountains. I started my publishing journey August of 2013, have had moderate success, but my utmost passion is my "daytime" job, which is working with adults who are constantly striving to better their lives as they obtain the GED credential.

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