“Memorizing Names” – Nayana Nair

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There was no joy to wander,
to pack my bags
with belongings not entirely mine
and to have a bagful of borrowed stuff,
of borrowed time.
Living on the kindness
that I didn’t deserve.
Each new handhake
sounded like
echoes of heartbreak
from the future.
I knew where I was going
and I knew where I was taking them.
And that made me hate this ordeal
of trying to memorize the names
of all these new people
who will be soon forgotten.
My heart was never broken.
My home was never broken.
At least not the type of broken
that can’t be repaired.
I do not have shelter of such excuses.
I chose to stay,
I chose to love
and I chose to move away.
I choose to live with the list of names
to the end
than to see them walk away.

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