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“What I Remember (12)” – Nayana Nair

hailstones.
that’s what i remember.
when the stones fell
onto the already breaking roofs of our class,
the girl who sat three rows ahead
stopped reading.
everyone who was busy day dreaming,
who had shut their ears to every useless fact that we come to learn,
knew how to listen to this,
to this violence that could hurt but won’t.

i sat there listening,
wondering if my skin would also be able bear
what this tin sheet roof can,
if my classmates would look at me
understand their violence that could break me but hasn’t yet.

maybe it was our silence,
maybe it was the teachers glare
that made it stop,
made the loud shrieking rain to end.
and when she left
the stones had already turned into dripping water.
the kids wanting to forget
the trauma of being silenced,
of having their dreams interrupted,
of being reminded of their helplessness
recited incidents that didn’t happen,
tried to laugh a little louder than usual,
made another joke at the expense of someone like me
and so my only memory of hailstone
was also reduced to the din of students (who never liked me).

i closed my books and pretended to be asleep
while everyone ate and talked to their friends.
i waited for everyone to leave
so I could eat alone
without being ashamed for being left alone.
“hailstones”.
i said the word aloud in that empty classroom.
i had one more words now
to describe these kids who scared me by their meanness,
who made me like the prospect of loneliness.

“Cycles of Waiting”- Nayana Nair

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Your hand that touch me
only when I am asleep.
Your memories that only surface
when I have been flooded beyond the hope of any saving.
The cycles of waiting-
a wait for the numbness,
a wait for the feelings that have left,
a wait that I cannot admit is for you.
But this wait doesn’t make you or me
better than what we were and will always be.
So I tell myself everyday
to stop waiting for the past that I once ran from
even when that is the only thing
that I cannot seem to do.

“Not There” – Nayana Nair

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Stay right beside me.
Stay till I fall asleep.
Once my eyes have given up,
on seeing the world for what it is
and failing each time.
When my hold on your fingers
loosens breath by breath.
When I finally fall asleep.
Let me dream of a love for us
that hurts little less.
Live the life that I dream of.
Even if I am not there.

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