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“What I Remember (18)” – Nayana Nair

today’s sadness is brought upon
by the increasing count of the words
that i have forbidden myself to speak.

today’s sadness is brought upon
by the particularly sad song
that i have chosen to listen.

today’s sadness is partially due to the strangers with sweet eyes,
partially due to my angels with weak hearts,
and also the fact that i must love (and have loved) everything wrong
without causing pain to anyone but myself.

i must write without baring myself.
i must write to never let myself forget what i can’t speak.

do not write this, do not be mean, do not be ungrateful
do not blame, no names, no dates, do not put anyone’s weakness on show

all such favors that i must do
for the sake of my perpetrators and my protectors.

i must act like a better person, even when i am not
in my fingers i am told to hold
everyone’s shame and everyone’s guilt,
and find my freedom in that.

today’s sadness is a breather,
the rare moment i allow myself to see
how messed up all this is,
before i turn off the light
only to stumble through life again.

“Redefining my Happiness” – Nayana Nair

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so as the last effort to rescue me
they came in,
dressed in the ultimate cool lifestyle.

they handed me all the tools that i might need
to break away from the ‘sad’ in me.
they filled me up with clocks that told the wrong time,
told me that i would get used to the thrill of it.

told me to scrape down
whatever stands in my way to happiness.
told me my happiness should now be
keeping an eye on the better guy, the better job,
better photos on social media to highlight the same,
weekends in lightless room with strangers.

when i became nauseous from too much change,
when i ran into the fire
to save the idea i had of myself,
they held me back,
told me i would develop a taste for such things
i just needed some help, some influence,
some liquid courage, some castles of smoke,
guts to throw away everything that doesn’t serve a purpose.
they told me to talk like the ones who hurt me
and to call it empowerment.

“What I Remember (17)” – Nayana Nair

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those who spent their lives
wrecking their hands to mould me into something better,
tried fruitlessly
to break me without pain,
to break me and make me into something
that would be accepted by this world.
they showered me with love
so i won’t know, won’t remember
how much it pained me or how much it hurt them
to have gifted me
this painful self-critical view of myself and this world.

while they are growing old, weak and distant
my love for them looks like a failed seed
that never grew nor flowered.
the years that i spent with them
has made me ungrateful.
i have become the fish that never thanked the water
that kept it alive,
thinking that is what water is meant to do.

with time
as a fail to become what i thought i am,
as i realize that doing or even knowing the right thing to do
becomes more impossible as you get to know this world,
i begin to understand the enormous love they must have had for me
to hold my hand and walk with me in a world
that they had never seen
only for my sake,
knowing that their courage and their tears
are destined to be forgotten (or worse- questioned).

and my love?
my love,
it grows in opposite direction of sun,
my love for them grows into the soil my heart
in a world where they won’t see and won’t know.
i will remain cruel and indifferent even in my own eyes.
so i hide my muddled feelings
and walk around those
who have made me what i am
whatever that may be.

“Words that I must not forget, but I will” – Nayana Nair

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A stranger told me
that I am capable of living better,
if only I throw away my thoughts and assumptions
about what I deserve and what I should not want.

The sun tiptoed around me
stealing a bit of my shadow for every minute
that I stood at the door created by these words.
But I didn’t have the courage to go inside.

So I went back to living my life in the worst ways.
But, for some time I was happy just by thinking
that there exists a door that one day I can open,
that I probably looked more human that I thought.

That in itself was a happiness, a relief
I never thought I could feel-
knowing that the what I had lost was not myself,
but the only heart to face myself, to comfort myself.

“bedtime stories of what you used to be” – Nayana Nair

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Even as I want to cut out your stories from my skin,
even as I want to walk away from what you will always be,
I end up recalling all the time
you tried to be better than what you are.
When without any calculations,
without the thought of consequences,
without even knowing it yourself
you placed my broken body in your heart
and tried to do anything,
say anything that could make me feel better.
How sincere your words felt to me,
you’d never know.
And that’s why I stay
so that you may know
how you have held me together with your love.

Now that you are breaking,
now that your cracks are the only things I see,
now when I feel nothing like love for you,
I want to be better than what I am.
So even though I feel like crying every time I see you like this
and feel wronged by this life from time to time.
But it seems you are the one thing in my life
that I cannot run away from, even when I want to.

“Stack of Books from Strangers” – Nayana Nair

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Now everything tastes like my oft-repeated past.
This bitter turn of events
has brought new meaning to my pain that I didn’t ask for.
This morning I even look like someone who needs help.

I guess I may have looked that way for a long time
in everyone’s eyes but mine.
In my eyes, I was doing better,
good enough to be not noticed and singled out.

I smiled enough to keep people from seeing
all the mess I carried in me.
But lately, strangers hand me books
to keep my sad mind busy.

Books that tell me
that it is not too late, that one at a time
I can make something out of the soil that won’t leave my skin,
the soil that I am buried under.

I want to believe in this nonsense more than anyone can imagine.
But my heart is not the same now
as it was years ago.
It no longer believes the words that feel good and hurt later.

“Greater Good” – Nayana Nair

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The trees are alive today.
They ask me to sing them to sleep for the last time.
I sing for hours
but they refuse to close their eyes.

They ask me how I have been,
not waiting for my answer,
in one breath they ask
about the words they don’t understand,
ask me about the days I do not remember anything about
(there are so many days I have no memory of
while I can’t forget the days I really want to forget),
about the rain that has left us long ago.

Their love for this world that they do not understand-
makes me jealous,
makes me wonder,
if I could love also this world as much as I want to
if I knew a little less,
if I gave up this human heart
that knows nothing but to steal and plead,
to take away and bleed.
But if I knew how to give up myself
for my greater good,
I would have done so long ago.

I can only stay selfish,
act better than what I am,
sing songs to the trees
that will soon be killed for my sake.

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