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“Whatever Blooms in Darkness” – Nayana Nair

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When all things that are not divine
found a home in me,
I realized they would probably
be the only friends I ever make.
I read up many books
and considered taking up some mildly destructive
and slightly disturbing hobbies,
so that I could know them better.
So I could become someone they could accept.
I looked for a teacher who could teach me
how to love back darkness,
how to become a wound itself
instead of nursing one forever.


I want to say I found happiness
in that one friend
with sad eyes and bitter lips.
But there still lived in me
that one girl made of light
who wanted to ruin me
by guiding me back to life.

“Better Clone” – Nayana Nair

If you were to find a love
that could make you complete,
I hope you find it with me.
I hope I become better
before you start looking for this love.
So that being myself won’t mean
being cruel and uncaring.
So that loving me won’t be a sacrifice.

I want to have you
without breaking you
and without breaking me.
But how often does life work out like that.

When you became the question of my life,
all I could do was hope
because what I had was not enough for myself.
What if you were to ask me something
that would remind me of my poverty?

I am afraid that this
is what you are meant to do in my life-
remind me again and again
that I am lacking in so many ways.

But all I can do is try
try to become someone who has lesser faults.
Because giving you up
is not something that I would ever want.
But some nights I wonder how long will I last
before I collapse under the weight
of your wants and mine.

“Soft Soil” – Nayana Nair

you are now
just a butterfly
in the unruly garden of my life.

you were once the laughter in our home.
your hands were once as warm as mine.
you were so many things,
the one who knew how to make everyone smile,
the one who could soothe my heart
with a kind understanding glance,
the one who never cried
(now I guess you must have cried,
knowing how you left us here like this).

they told me
you were too weak to live.
i gulped down their answer
even when i knew they were lying.
i was afraid of knowing the real reasons,
i was afraid of knowing what I had overlooked.

the soil was so soft in my hand,
the day they buried you.
i cried through my meals for days.
no one consoled me.
no one told me things will get better.
no one told me to grow up.
and something told me
i would never grow up.

“The End of My Sad Story” – Nayana Nair

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I want to tell myself
that my sad story had ended,
that now I can write a better one,
where I won’t be suffering again.

But I have known myself more than anyone.
In the waters that choked me,
even when it hurt,
even when I was about to loose myself
the only thing on my mind
my only sadness was for the love I never found.

And there lies my failure,
there lies the source of my misfortune.
That even after everything ends,
after I have cried my last tears,
nothing would change.
I would walk into every new day
and I would only see the broken yesterday.
I would end up in front of doors
that have never opened for me.

“Remaining Life” – Nayana Nair

Hand me back my fear.
Remove all signs of caution.
Anyway, I am dying slowly.
I don’t want to know more.
I don’t want to know better.
Come into my mind.
Here there is no better.
There are only picture frames that do not break
even when they have lost the images they lived for.
It is not the persisting lack in me that makes me feel hollow.
It is the life remaining in my dying organs,
all the reasons that I have for living,
my willingness to invent a reason if needed.
All the substance that hides my lacking
highlights the vacancy in me.

“Have a Good Day” – Nayana Nair

I was sat down and told repeatedly everyday
that though the world belongs to all of us,
sometimes it is better
to step back,
to only take up the space we need.
I misunderstood it to be a lesson in humility,
wanting less, and sacrifice,
but I realize now that it was not so.
I was told to stop before I anger someone,
before someone got jealous,
or before they saw the weakness of my gender.

As I stand on the balcony at midnight
and hear drunk shady men shouting, cursing, and stumbling,
as they make their way to their broken homes,
I remind myself
this is what I am supposed to fled,
a person who is allowed to loose their mind,
a person who will always have excuse to hurt.
This what everyone wanted me to become,
someone who is proficient at spotting dangers,
who can conjure up the worst possible scenarios
when they hear another’s footsteps on deserted streets,
and see the worst possible demons in the face of men.

These days I often hear people say
that the new meaning of a powerful woman is
the one who walks into misfortune willingly,
before she is stalked and defeated by it.
Is this the only alternative to what I am living?

I wish that when I walked past a stranger on streets
I could smile and wish them a good day,
without having to fear being misunderstood,
without the echoes of ‘she asked for it’ in my mind.

“Connecting Flight” – Nayana Nair

I hold my fist close to my heart,
I hold your hand tighter than ever.
How long has it been since we last saw each other?
How long before we meet again?
These few hours that separates
our periods of separation,
these hours have become minutes,
have become question marks
that we pretend we can’t see,
have become the silhouette
of the better women of your stories,
have become the words I never got to hear.
They remind me of your skin that bloomed and withered
without knowing my skin.
I have told myself numerous times
that it doesn’t matter.
I have tried my best not to be bothered,
but it is becoming more difficult
to feel that I am still loved by you.
And again you kiss me with caution,
hold me close, only to let go.
Again all I see is you
moving towards something I cannot understand,
leaving me in a life that I cannot accept.

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