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“Ready to Break” – Nayana Nair

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We are the mediocre television soap
that no one wants to see.
We have learned to gulp down bland food, bland life.
The books that get us jobs, get us friend, gets us love,
we have learned to pay for it without bitterness.

We adore the mania, the depression,
the moments when don’t want to think clear-
that makes us feel alive,
anything like that,
we are ready to call it love.

In our small hands we carry
whatever meaning we have left in us-
the offering that no gods want.
We are ready to break for anyone
who is ready to break for us.

“Fictional Friends” – Nayana Nair

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i break another glass today,
the girl with blue highlights in her hair
walks over it without bleeding
but tells me
not to try such things at home on my own,
that it took her years of invisibility
to even try such tricks.
but she has no suggestions for what else i should do
instead of breaking my smooth skin
and wrecking my good name.
so she tells me a story about a girl and wolf,
another about a girl and her impossible dream,
about a girl and her sad prince,
a girl and the dark world,
a girl and whatever wants to break her down.
she tells me i don’t have to be that girl.
that i just have to be person who happens to be a girl
and not hate herself for it.


it is night already.
i find myself in strange blue rooms.
i hold hands with another new stranger
who promises to sing me to sleep.
he walks like heartache that knows how to smile.
he pretends to be the real deal.
he is too drunk on his own sad story like me
to even see anyone else.
so no we are not in love.
i just want to borrow his songs,
his voice, his awareness of all that is wrong.
i look out of his window, at my own home
at my friends, at my love, at broken frame of my family,
at myself who is trying too hard
to be indifferent to it all.


the battery of my phone dies
and i am alone again in this life
that i can’t find my way around.
i am somewhat lost, tired,
and yet somehow happy
to have lived through this despair,
through another dark night.

“Shopping in the HATE section” – Nayana Nair

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should i thank you
for becoming the faceless stranger
that i dread the most?

you are the new voice inside my head.
less of a voice, more of a threat.

how should i make you happy?
how can i shut you up?-
is all i think about.
i want to grow up
and grow out of this mind
that can’t take even this shallow critique.
but i can’t.
how can I confront you
when you may actually be correct about me?

what should i do?
remain a nothing till your attention shifts?
learn to cry without being bashed for my weakness?

but at least I am glad I am not your type,
that I am not the excuse
you would use to pull someone else down.

so goodbye “the embodiment of my self-doubt”
thank you giving me another grief to write about,
for speaking your mind and taking away my voice.

“What do you know?” – Nayana Nair

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why is it so
that i can only choose love if i let myself look weak.
it should have been easy to look weak and crumbling,
when that is what i feel all the time.
but it isn’t easy.
maybe because the weakness of my heart has never made me look incompetent,
it just made me look cold and aloof.
being good for nothing is more tragic than being broken or being hated.

how hard i have tried all my life to be good at something.
so that i am not useless, so that people don’t leave me behind on purpose,
so that i can at least look like someone capable and not be embarrassed of myself.

after all the years of running around
and making myself believe
that soon, soon i will become someone i can be proud of;
instead of finding myself, i find you.
i find the in myself the want
to let go of this control, that hurts my hands,
but letting go hurts my pride.

somehow i can’t stop blaming you for asking me to live as me,
for asking me to stop hurting myself.
what do you know about the life i have lived?
what do you know about the things i have sacrificed for living like this?
how can you ask me to break what i have built for years?

i cry, i push you away, i cling to the what i am supposed to be,
asking you why you can’t just be what i supposed you would be.
again i am asked to choose between me and this world.
again i know i will choose myself.
(by choosing to please the world rather than choosing myself?)
but you have some nerve to declare that i won’t.
i hate you for your stupid confidence
and your disregard for all that i will lose.

“A Silent Machinery” – Nayana Nair

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I put on my favorite show
(that I have seen for umpteenth time),
increase the volume,
fill my plate.
My eyes glued to TV
notices too late all that I have spilled,
fill my plate with things I won’t eat.

The same beautiful scene.
Under the yellow light
stand two actors,
pretending to be in love,
doing a better job at it
that we ever could,
saying words
we could never say.

My heart breaks to see this love,
it pops like a bubble wrap,
bursts like a bubble of daydreams.
No, it doesn’t hurt.
I just hear a sound
from the otherwise silent machinery
that keeps me running.

I am glad you meant enough to me
to have become
a familiar bump on the familiar road
that my heart always takes.

“A Dull Reflection of Hope” – Nayana Nair

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In a dull handheld mirror
that had yet to be broken,
I looked at myself
and realized
that someone is dying inside me.

I didn’t know how to accept this,
so I solved every question in my math textbook.
I learned to eat more and sleep late.
Stared at my wrist for hours.
Pretended to sleep fearing questions.
Tried a bit of every sin
and waited around to be damned.

I felt a constant urge to break someone
so this world could be little less happier.
But death claimed my heart
before I could do that.
So now I write “love” on your tongue
without knowing what it means.

“My place in this cruel landscape” – Nayana Nair

when i stood

in front of the respected uncaring adults
who could never see me,

beside the fickle-minded fun-seeking friends
who smoked ‘idgaf attitude’ every night,

holding the hands
of the demanding demeaning frightening voice
of the one i wanted to love,
the one i almost loved,

i knew how to smile.
i knew how to let them off the hook.
i knew how to care for all those
who don’t have to care for such things.

and so i make it through another day,
another month, another year,
trying not to break anyone anymore,
trying not to abandon anyone,

making a list of all things that were once beautiful about them,
convinced that this imperfect me deserves only suffocating relationships,
careful not to see hope in any short-lived moment of affection.

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