“Leftover” – Nayana Nair

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I do not want to continue this-
to harbor, carry around,
give voice to feelings of sympathy
that can never be more than words.
After I have said all the right things
and you have given the correct response,
we feel we have done everything we can
that a good person must do to save the world,
when we are just protecting the leftover
humanity we have in ourselves,
to wear it like a badge
in conversations that can bring no change.
You, me,
our indulgent families, our fun-loving friends,
our irritating neighbours-
have never stepped out of our own lives
never given up on our comforts
unless it is for accumulating some good karma.
We should not be allowed to feel so generous
for saying so much and doing so little.

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