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“fairy tales” – Nayana Nair

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a broken end
with a light
(a lighter duller than me)
touches me.
someone
says the magic words,
the loathsome words
that make me the old alice.
i am made to leave
the seat, the home,
the dream, the rights
that are too big for me.
they leave me a tiny suitcases
filled with fancy dresses
made of used socks and handkerchiefs.
they are cute,
they are kind,
they have read their fairy tales right.
i have never read the right books,
so i find myself unable to thank them
or kiss their hands.
thumblina says my new belongings in glitter
i do not know what this name means
or the fate that the owner of this name is meant to find
but i have heard it is better than being an alice.
(i liked being alice more
i liked a story written for my sake.)
as i walk into the new forest,
towards hopefully my last story
or at least a story i can make my own for once,
i can’t help but think of
all the laughing men, now laughing giants
fixing my home to their liking.
i can’t help but be a bit bitter
looking at my hands that can only build for people like them.

“Our Game” – Nayana Nair

if i could understand you somehow
i am sure my feelings would make sense

something in you is at odds with you
something in you makes me hate you

but as you pretend that you are stronger than your monster
i pretend that my love is bigger than any wrong that you can do to me

that’s our game
that’s our love

i pretend even when i hold you through your nightmares
i pretend even when i realize i am weaker than my love

for when you take my name in between the storm of your sobs
i realize i can keep walking to you

through my own breakdown
through everything

i can keep walking towards you
as long as you take my name

“Summer Mood” – Nayana Nair

my feet relentlessly insist
on burning themselves
for the sake of summer mood.

i wear a shirt too big for me.
a wear a smile a bit too small.
i wear the worry of my parents on my neck.

i feel their fear
when i smile back at strangers.
i pretend to be the sand that no one can hurt.
i pretend to be the sea that doesn’t end.
i pretend no man in this beautiful scene
would hurt someone like me.

but my feet, they burn, they bleed.
my feet that only wanted freedom
from the moment i was born,
now they make me feel like the mermaid
who was not wise enough.

i feel like i am losing a part of myself
every time a stranger asks for my name,
every time they accidentally touch my skin
to fill me with shame and sin.
i pretend to be cool, to be understanding,
to be blind
as i feel like the monster
that brings out the worst in people.
as i erase my memories everyday
to put faith in people whom i find hard to trust.

“A Big Word” – Nayana Nair

I am happy. Almost.
I leave my bed to sit beside the window
that looks over the road.
I stare at everything that lives and dies beside me.
I will my brain to think of a rhyme
that I can gift this world.
I feel that my love for this ocean
of people far exceeds my loathing.
I am almost happy to be alive.
Though almost is a big word, a painful word.
It is is still smaller than the distance I have covered so far,
it is negligible to everything that has ever stood in my way.
‘Almost’ is something I can overlook,
as long as I have something to look forward to.
I cannot give up on this world even when I should.

“Eavesdrop” – Nayana Nair

From my empty room,
from the edge of my personal cliff,
I looked into the windows of strangers,
looked over their shoulder at texts they write,
looked at the pages where their bookmark rests,
silently waited at the edge of my chair
trying to overhear responses to the big questions.

And all I have known by prying so hard
is that there is nothing there.
Nothing in the text that could pass for shorthand.
The same book rests on the same table for years,
serving only the role of a carefully thought out accessory.
No question is big enough to be carefully considered.
No relationship is important enough to be held to heart.
That I was foolish to believe otherwise till now.
That I am putting myself on another path to heartbreak
if I do not believe in the night that I see.
I must unlearn the way I have lived
to find a place to belong.

In between the cold beginning and cruel ends
that are the parentheses of our lives,
there is nothing for me to hang on to.
But it helps to know
that there are plenty of empty rooms in this painful smaller eternity,
that I need not kill myself over an emptiness so common.
And it is really difficult to feel alone once I know that.

“and one day i stopped without wanting to” – Nayana Nair

i am a girl who reads too much between lines, especially yours.
and your words, they were cold
but they were warmer than the pages they were written on.
and since i wanted to love you
i tried to see your world as one big adventure
even when my heart was filled with fear.
i tried to do things that might make you happy,
to say the words that might put you at ease.
though i suffered greatly,
being with you made up for everything,
or so i thought.
but in the hope to be loved
i bent a little too much
forgot where to stop,
i went overboard with the idea of sacrifices and promises
and forgot to look at the blood and life i had lost.

one day he would grow up,
one day he would realize,
one day his love for me, would actually feel like love
“-
were the words i lived by.
but isn’t it pathetic
that even when i have no use for these words,
even my soul is more sore than alone,
at night when i count the pieces of me,
and the numbers just won’t add up,
the thing that i am most sad about is that
i was so easy to love
and yet you couldn’t
.

“What I Remember (13)” – Nayana Nair

i did all that i must do
and now no one asks me what’s next.
thankfully,
no one burdens me with with their dreams anymore.
i am no longer a possible candidate for the worst,
for taking over the misfortune of my mother’s life.
i no longer have to worry about hurting my parents by
being like them or living like them.
thankfully,
what bothers me, what eats me up
is nothing that would keep anyone else awake
and that is important.

in spite of this emptiness i write about
and this loneliness that seems bigger than this world,
all this do not stop me
from laughing at jokes, craving for food that i shouldn’t eat,
dreaming of another broken love with my only lover,
from having a good time – that i will conveniently forget.
nothing i cry about, no ailing that lives in me
is too large to stop me from living.

i guess i carry an instability in my genes.
if my eyes are in the color of sadness,
i guess i got it from my parents.
and they are lovely people who somehow raised me right
in spite of having a tendency to mess up things
and their sadness with life.

tomorrow i will probably hate them frequently again
but they will nag at me when i reach home drenched in rain,
will tell me sit straight and force me to eat what will keep me alive,
will ask me to keep my phone down,
and sleep a little bit more.

they will not ask what’s wrong and that will disappoint me,
but they will let me do what i want to do (sometimes)
and they will try their best not to wrong me.
they will wish for my happiness,
even if they have no idea what makes me happy
and that is important.

because though i lived my extended teenage
believing that i had no one,
but it was not true.
i saw no one
and it is my fault.
even when i thought i was not loved
they have loved me silently.
though it was a tiring love,
it knew no end.

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