my youth spills on dancefloors by Téa Nicolae

*poem published in Kamena Magazine, 2022. written in 2019. from my ‘teenage angst’ collection.

pitch-black clubs,
dazed fridays.
my youth pumps through my veins.

high heels,
shiny fake ids.
my youth grounds me.

grimy dance floors,

my youth bursts inside of me

it glides through me


as my heart throbs beneath my skin
matching the music’s beat

i please my youth
bending my body obediently
with the deafening bass

the synth dismantles my mind
and my limbs are not mine anymore
they follow the sound

there is no past
or future
only my body
spinning madly
only the music
twisting in my ears
only my youth
spilling on dance floors
from the crashed bottles of wine at my feet

loss slithered inside me

like a snake,

slicing my bones

and scratching my veins

with its scales.

my loss

burnt my fingertips

and dug a hole

in the centre of my chest.

i tried to feed the hole

kindness, drugs, and love

but my loss swallowed it all

and hungrily pushed against my ribs.

when i’m quiet

i can hear the hole

swelling under my heart,


*poem featured in Wretched City. from my poetry collection “my loss is my root”, written in 2019.

picture credit: unsplash.

letters, cuts

*scattered poems published in scan lancaster, february 2020. they belong to a collection of poetry i compiled which chronicles the various stages of coping with grief. written a few years ago…

01. 01. 2018

dear A,

it’s been three years since i’ve lost you

and i swear i am trying.

i bought a shiny yoga mat

and i do yin yoga for grief release.

i ground my feet,

do warrior poses

and chant.

i try,

but no matter how much i contort my body at dawn

my sorrow rips through my brain

and sticks to my eyelids.

10. 02. 2018

most beloved A,

i wear my loss

like i wear my rings.

11. 02. 2018

darling A,

i swear i’m trying.

i’ve stopped reading sylvia plath

and i bookmark poems

about the universe that is supposedly unfolding in my core.

i read self-help articles about how pain is grace,

grinding my teeth.

i write inspirational quotes on purple notebooks

and i make bullet-points about buddhism

with pink pens.

i press the tips onto the paper


as if to push what i write through me.

i beg my mind to meditate

i put on compilations of “deep relaxing & healing music with instant relief from stress”

and i force myself to still.

i download apps that ease anxiety

and i go to meditation groups on wednesdays.

but, no matter how long i stay cross-legged on the floor,

straightening my back and linking my thumbs,

it hurts.

25. 02. 2018

my dearest A,

i quit drinking

and i made new friends.

friends that drink hot chocolate

friends that watch soft films

friends that pray in the evenings

instead of drowning in face paint

and sprawling on dance floors.

they meet for coffee

they talk about how simple life is

and i nod when my heart clenches.

30. 02. 2018

beloved A,

my brain is softly melting to the floor

04. 03. 2018

ever dearest A,

i’ve been reading about the cycle of rebirth

i wish to believe in it,

but scepticism clouds my heart.

i’m not pure enough for transcendence

so if i am reborn

i wish i could be as small

as a sparrow.

11. 04. 2019

dear A,

i’m unsure where loss ends

        and i begin.

                                                                                                                                  with longing,

                                                                                                                                  T. ☼

brief sonnet to sorrow by téa nicolae















* original format:

* happy december, my loves! as 2020 is slowly coming to end, i am bringing back this poem which was published on The Writing Disorder in summer, as i believe that it encapsulates my year beautifully; fully.

i wrap my sadness in sequins by téa nicolae

*poem published in Cake Magazine.

i wrap my sadness in sequins.

i pour my sadness in fake eyelashes,

in glitter nails

in green hair dye

and i take my sadness out for a dance.

flash lights,

spilled drinks,

heels that crush your toes.

i lock hands with my sadness

and sway on sticky dance floors.

my sadness holds up her pocket mirror

in grimy club bathrooms

and she puts on three layers of red lipstick

while i rub off mine.

i ask my sadness to pull up my torn zipper

while, pupils enlarged,

i hum stevie nicks adoringly.

i throw a clumsy arm over my sadness

and guide her to another club.

i grind on empty party anthems

and, when boys try to kiss me,

i brush them off

because i’m loyal to my sadness.

at the end of the night

i crawl to mc donald’s with my sadness

one veggie burger large fries one large fanta oh and can i have some ketchup please

i stuff my face with my sadness

and we hail a cab in silence.


my sadness whispers gutted love declarations to me

and then tucks me in my bed gently.

i wrap my sadness in sequins
poem published in Cake Magazine 💙 i wrote it in my first year of uni for one of my seminars and it’s my favourite poem from that time. when i sat down to write it, my intention was to write about club culture and the glitz and the glammy, sticky sadness that came with it (for me) and this came out! 💙

Processed with RNI Films. Preset 'Agfa Optima 200'
Kayla Jenkins made such a lovely illustration for my poem! 🥰

my hips are bruised in my dreams by téa nicolae

*poem published in Eunoia Review


my hips are bruised in my dreams

and i wake up itching,

pressing my fingers onto my thighs,

covering my purple skin.


my hips swell in my dreams

and tentacles circle my feet,

wrapping around my toes when i walk

and i stumble and fall on my face.

when i wake up,

my cheeks ache.


my wrists have blisters in my dreams

and there is ash under my fingernails.

when i wake up,

my hands are swollen.


on cold nights

when i’m afraid to go to sleep

i light three candles

and hug my knees.

i promise myself

that one day

i won’t dream of bruises


one day

my dreams will be amber

and i’ll wake up with warmth

in my stomach.



my hips are bruised in my dreams










i dream that my teeth fall out at night by téa nicolae

*a shortened version of this poem was shortlisted for the Literary Lancashire Award and published in the LLA Anthology 2019, extremely grateful and so, so tearful ❤


dear A,

i dream that my teeth fall out at night

and i swallow them,

one by one.

my teeth scratch the insides of my throat

and i choke on them.

i wake up crying,

cover my mouth and scream into my fingers,

pushing my hands into my forehead,

as if i’m trying to pull my mind out of my head.

it’s been one month since your funeral.


dear A,

i am crying all the time now.

i cry for you in the shower

i cry for you in front of my untouched breakfast

i cry for you in toilets in metro stations

i cry for you gracelessly doing my make-up

i cry for you when i wash my hair with blueberry shampoos

i cry for you when i read your messages, the 67th time.

i cry and i long for you,

i cry and i long for you.


dear A,

some days

i cry less and i eat apples

some days

i wear red and buy you flowers.

some days

my mind blocks my pain

and i am better.

some days

my friends make me laugh

and i find comfort in being alive.


i dread those days.

those days my head swims in guilt

and my shame thumps in my ears.

those days i feel myself forgetting you

and i wish i could glue your eyes to my mind.


when those days end,

i break my mind with photos of you

and i dream of melting.


dear A,

i’m soaking in loss and i’m chanting buddhist mantras


dear A,

they say that i should surrender my grief

they say that we are bound together,

even if i heal

but how can it be

when you only exist through my pain


dear A,

i am willing to suffer each day for you

so you do not to die again.


LLA Award
from the LLA Anthology 2019


space monkey by téa nicolae

*poem published in flash journal


urban dictionary:

every time i feel ugly

i pull my hair out of my roots and play space monkey with the boy that lives two streets down from me

we meet in his room at 11pm, usually on tuesdays.

we order taco bell and choke each other with greasy fingers.

i find solace in his grasp

the harsher he gets, the more beautiful i am.

necks clenched, we stare in silence

and i remember the nights i spent on bathroom floors

drunk, thinking of the people that broke me.


i’d tell my boy about my bathroom nights,

but we never speak.

we just clutch our throats and collapse into each other

cat scars on our arms

lapsing back into old habits.


we spend four nights a month and forty-eight a year

gazing at our draining cheeks

and drowning into each other

i know each one of his pimples,

his chapped puckered lips,

his clumsily shaved sideburns

and the straight slope of his nose,

while he knows the mole in my left eyebrow,

he sees the cracks in my oil-based foundation

when his fingers close around my neck,

he understands me,

just like children understand the world with their hands.


when we fall into each other,


fragments of dream buzzes burning our heads,

the lack of oxygen strips our minds bare

and i am beautiful again.



i try

*poem written as a prompt from L.C.



i carry oversized gift bags on the bus

and hang torn earphones from my neck.

chin stuck to ice smudged windows,

i hum of make-believe merriment

and rip price tags smoothly.



i fold myself in silk ribbons

and curl my yore in matching jumpers

i paint my face in red and green

and break two fingers flattening pink wish cards.

i crunch on gingerbread

and choke on warmth at noon.



i eat cold pizza and squint at christmas rom-coms in the mornings

i munch on burnt popcorn and adorn plastic trees at midnights,


i watch friends unwrap my presents and rest my forehead on their shoulders

how did you know?

they kiss my hair

this is the best gift i’ve ever got



i fly home

i cry on the plane

i smile at my mother

i crumble in my room

i try.

i am insomniac and slippery

but i try.