“the shadow at the foot of my bed” – Nayana Nair

today is the birthday of one another oddity of mine.
on a day like this,
few calendars ago
i learnt how to turn my helplessness into my charm.
i learnt to fill the glasses, the throats of everyone i know
with something sweet, with a taste they can’t name.
i learnt to become something that can’t be known or hurt.
in my bedroom i sit at the foot of my bed
trying to block out the presence, the weight
of the other half of my body
clinging, clawing, crying, dissociating.
i again forget where i am.
i again forget how to stop shaking.
if i walk a bit more into the darkness
i feel i won’t have to pretend to be the one
who has a say in what happens to her.
a hand slips into mine.
sometimes it rests on my waist,
and i force myself not to feel nauseated.
love him. love her. i tell myself repeatedly.
love. love. love. love till i can make up for all my lacks.
my love is my penance, my apology
to anyone who chooses me as their destiny.

“Your Cactus” – Nayana Nair

i never learnt about gardening, nor about patience, nor about caring,
nor about looking after anything that doesn’t speak, doesn’t complain,
doesn’t tell me in plain words how i am terrible, how i mistakes make me
even if those mistakes are not mine.

i wish i was blind, i wish i was mute,
i wish i was the cactus in your bedroom.
i wish i was the books you didn’t read but can’t throw away.
i wish i could stop wanting to be a decoration in your life.
i wish i could stay human and stay in love at the same time.

in my room
i close my eyes, and find myself with you.
it must be dream, i wish it was.
for here you don’t cry because of me,
don’t have to tear yourself up just to be nice to me.
i wish it was a dream
because here i have forgotten to tell you
that i can’t love anything that loves me back.
i wish you stop making my heart ache with your sincerity.
i wish i woke up
before you sacrifice anything more than you already have.