Alexandra-Anamaria Nițescu participates in the “Poetry” section of the International Literary Creation Competition, 4th edition, from Bucharest, Romania. Alexandra-Anamaria is 17 years old. She is guided by professor Elena Sticlea at ”Gheorghe Lazăr” National College. We thank her for her participation and wish her success.
Slaughterhouse of hearts They say once you hit rock bottom the only way is up But if you drown you'll still be floating And like a bicycle left in the rain my brain is corroded By my own thoughts and doubts that after my life is molded And so I try to shut the door of the slaughterhouse of hearts upstairs But bruise my hands until small blue rivers turn red And as the wrinkled rust-colored cloth tears I'm left to wonder who would miss me if I were dead Because nobody sees the knife pushing through your skin Until it pierces the bone and you let out a scream That deafens everyone and suddenly you're the monster Wishing you could leave the rest of the book blank and end this chapter Because the black hole in my stomach grows every time I hear your voice And my steps get smaller the closer I get to the noise I wish I could turn around but the disaster is so hypnotic And I fear being alone would make everything more chaotic Sometimes I feel like a color scattered carelessly across a kid's canvas A dark blue sky separated from the landscape I feel I need to be broken to shine like the supernovas So I shatter myself in order to fix it with art and tape I'm one step away from the exit when I feel the floor collapse And I'm back to level one with no one to blame for the relapse I see a firefly in the corner of my room lighting an old "start" sign I get closer and observe the yellow bricks are starting to align Daydream in the abyss Just before I hit the ground full of roses and venus flytraps you pull me right out of the daydream in the abyss And as I climb the edge stained with "what ifs?" and unsent letters, all I've ever wanted was a kiss But what's left of you is a distorted memory and my heart in the mud The scar stays there, no matter how many floods Walking barefoot in the dense snow, heading to the monster's cave, you jump like you were never there Your blurred face never shined more beautifully, yet it's broken, to my own despair I've never even held your hand, but your fingerprints stained the inside of my rib cage The book is intact, blank, waiting to be covered in golden letters and sloppy drawn hearts, yet it feels like you ripped out a page Glass figure with expressive eyes, holes in the chest, you showed me love If you live without a soul and talk without a voice, why do you feel like heaven above? Nightmares are just lucid dreams of getting a happy ending And you're just a beautiful intruder shaped like the missing piece that I unconsciously decided is worth defending The fire in my soul keeps me warm, but knowing you'll never decipher it burns me down So I purposely trip over my memories in order to rearrange them in an old forgotten town Because in real life they bowed after they died But I want you to dissolve in sea foam and be absorbed into the tide You found me at the bottom of the ocean and helped me climb the ladder, but in the middle of it all, you vanished into thin air You went searching for me inside my troubled waters and fought monstrous abyssal creatures in moments I felt no one cared Will I rise only by inspecting where the dust is no more? And will you wait for me in a mist boat near the shore? I'm happy, I fall through you into a pure white cloud that gradually turns gray And I see a sad self-destroying world with me trapped between neurons and synapses crying on a sunny day But you can't break a lock shaped like future with a rusted key But you can peek inside and see your brain try to break free Hopeless hope I know a healer, he sold me poison, still lives behind my eyelids In a castle with no windows (just a tiny almost unobservable hopeful crack) where he teaches four birds how to fly, except he broke their wings Near an enchanted forest where a blue emotion disease infected leaf rusted And as seasons passed, all of them fell and the cold ground dusted So I find shelter up in memory's hills (walking on a road made of black and white rocks, the white ones are perfect circles, the black ones are chipped and scratched, the black ones are more numerous, but the white ones shine under the moonlight) hoping one day I'll stand on top of the highest whitest mountain and my happiness won't be just remembering And I sometimes wish some rocks could be thrown into the machine of dismembering And as I walk down the hill Black Black Black White Black White Black White Black White White White White Hope Black Black Black Black Black you'll see I've left four (only one with a halo) snow angels behind But those aren't made from a kid's joy, but from the trembles of fear (that happened while resting? on the ground and observing the stars, forcing myself to believe I live a better life in a parallel universe) of an anxious teenager's mind I am the explorer of the land inside my head but there seems to be no treasure worth marking with "x" and the ground is constantly moving My flower that was granted great success and fortune at birth, that everyone watered hoping its petals would become the most beautiful in the kingdom is withering while all the other ones are blooming Give up Don't give up Give up Don't give up Give up Don't give up Don't give up Don't give up Don't give up The result of the coin toss I carved an axe out of my own bones hoping the moonlight (making its way shyly through the big perfectly round crack) would glue the beating hearts inside the tower back to their purpose They fly Was my mutilated half worth it since I'll lose them in the gray sky? Thunderstorm, feathered souls on angel wings Each one has a letter written (and I get a weird feeling by looking at them like when I was six and read my first sentence by myself) in its skins H O P H? O? P? Hop? Hope? Where's the E? Empty halo 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 No 4 (?) For a split second, I see my room again, the dying flower in the window, the pressed leaf with blue and orange paint smothered over it for art class, the poster with the Snowy Mountains (that is so old that if I were to remove it the wood behind it would be discolored) on my door And then my eyes get closed again, it's like my eyelids are the only parts of my body that are affected by some gravity field and when I manage to open them, they are much smaller, Earth and its leafless trees are far away and the parallel universe I'm heading towards (my wings ain't heavy and my claws ain't clenched no more) is green and full of hope, calling me with a soothing voice (like a song you haven't heard in a long time, but immediately recognize it) to explore