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"Zooming In" – Nayana Nair

When I sit still
I am not waiting.
I am thinking of what is not
and why it should never have been.
I zoom into every empty space
and practice how to look away when it hurts me.
I remove my watch from my wrist
and place it next to plate for a better view
and a ruined palate.
I start from the names I know,
I start from the what they used to be
and what they have become.
All the while not addressing
the forest in the middle of my home
and the animal cries in my chest.
The fog in your mind
now spreads into mine.
Now I sometimes forget your name
as you forgot mine.
I dream of making you cry
to forget my own tears.
I wait and sometimes dream
that you would never arrive,
that I would forget whom I was waiting for
and I would smile not knowing why.

"I let him drive" – Nayana Nair

I roll down my window
hoping for the first time
that I knew how to drive
so that I wouldn’t have a confused witness
to my impulse of moving forward by a mile
and falling down by a heartbeat.

“Is everything alright?”,
he asks me too often.
I don’t bother to calm him down by saying ‘yes’
as I was doing an hour ago.
Nothing I say can now convince him of my normality.
So I let him drive and let myself collapse.
I bury my face in my lap
and breathe better by suffocating myself a little bit more.

He hums a song that reminds me of the love
that now lives in a country I have not seen
in a life that I will always guess inaccurately
with a girl who has a serious case of klemptomania.
Last time I called the stolen one,
I was given a sorry and an address of a better therapist.

I let my ring burn my heart.
I ask the driver to leave me somewhere no one can find me
knowing he will not, he will take me home
just like he doesn’t everyday,
and he will make sure to greet me
with a kind forgetfulness the next morning.

I wish I had kept more strangers like him in my life,
someone who would worry about me.

“Yesterday is long time ago” – Nayana Nair

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Today
I had to recite your words,
only now addressed to you.
It was only yesterday,
though it was a probably long time ago
that you told me how you suffered
because people were inconsiderate
and were proud of being so.
How there would have been lesser scars on your skin
if those who knew better, also acted better.
So I feel it is regretful (though unavoidable)
that you should hear the same from me,
that I ended being the mirror
that showed your disfigured soul to you.
But it pained me more
to see that you found it normal,
that you were okay to be someone
that you would have hated yesterday.

“Home” – Nayana Nair

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I will give you a list houses
that once used to be my home
and addresses that are the only memory
that has not been blurred
or manipulated by my mind.
If you ever want to find me,
go there.

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You will see the line of trees that
framed my sunrise
and almost dry riversbeds of
round white stones, where
I slipped once (or more).
You will see the duststorms,
and the heavy rains
I stood in.
You will see the the intersections,
I could never quite cross.
But all this you see,
is not me.

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If you want to find the ‘me’,
‘me’ that I do not know of,
that I cannot give you,
go there.
And look for windows I sat by.
Look for the cold floor I lied on.
Sit there and think of a girl
who never felt quite like a person,
who could look at what lay ahead
and know
that neither the path, nor the journey was hers.
Who only wanted a room flooded with
gentle light of drowning sun,
and songs that could make her sadness beautiful.

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