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“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.

“Same Mirror” – Nayana Nair

Even though we know
we will end up being disappointed in ourselves
we still want find that same mirror
again and again,
expecting to see something different.
Hoping that it will work out one day.
Hoping one day our faults
would be too insignificant to matter.
Relying on the surety
of the forgetfulness of the world
than the forgiveness that we couldn’t dare to ask.

-oOo-

But even if the world forgets,
even if our skin grows anew,
even if our sins become untraceable,
these eyes of ours
remain the same,
always lingering on the spot
where we have buried our past.
Passing of time does nothing to reduce our fear
of being seen for what we are.
Even when that image of what we were
exists nowhere in this world,
it is the only way we can ever see ourselves.

“Approaching Night” – Nayana Nair

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The light that drips from your skin
feels like sunlight frozen.
As you float among the spirits
of far away desolate planets,
who have found home in you,
who like me have found you too full of life.
You walk to me,
hold me close and bury your fire
in my heart. The mountain and the sea
that belong to you,
have erased the life
that I’ve lived before.

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On the path lined with trees-
their shade and your joys
becoming just memories with approaching night.
You walk to me,
you hold me close and bury your face
your regrets, your tears in my skin
and give me a moment of the future I can never have.
And soon I see you dissolve in the sea foam,
in the waters where we were born.
I find my hands filled with your share of happiness
and sky filled with flowers that once grew in your hands.

“Does it make sense” – Nayana Nair

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I have waited and dreaded this moment
where all my memories come rushing back in
and all my sins outweigh the suffering I had
and nothing I could tell myself
will absolve me from my crimes.
I can look back and say
“I was immature and I didn’t know enough.”
But is that enough?
But is that a valid reason?
Can any reason
validate the pain that continues to grow
in the chest of other
while my own brain is busy burying facts
that puts me in a bad light?
How can I talk like this
as if I am the one suffering?
But if I look back one more time
I am afraid I can never move forward.
Does it make sense that still I think of myself?
What kind of repentance is this?
Does it make sense for me to cry?

“Murky Waters” – Nayana Nair

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As I drop one stone after other
into the murky waters
with dust that never settles.
I find sounds in the air, forming words
which were almost lost under the blankets of pain.
I do not try to find the one who
cried out these words.
I just add them to the stones
that are destined
to be overlooked, buried or drowned.
I throw the stones that must be thrown.
So that this dirt, that my heart
never settles.
So that these sorrows can find
a home and a reason
to grow old and die.

“Spring” – Nayana Nair

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I make some space on my cluttered desk
for my head to rest its worries.
And I find a string of light
as a keepsake
to take with me when I’m buried.
What else am I going to miss?
There are so many things I miss in life already.
But I can’t make my heart strong enough
to reach out to a life
that I have lived without.
I can’t make myself
go out of this room
open the door to see
the spring that I always dreamt of,
the spring that waits for me outside.

“Flower” – Nayana Nair

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I pluck one leaf at a time
from this flower, this script
my life is.
I throw them from bridges
on cold evenings.
I bury them in the soil
that soils their print with time.
I burn them to ashes,
so they won’t smell the same.
I hang them on trees
that will never bear fruits.
To leave this story of mine
everywhere and nowhere.
So that you may find it.
So that you may not find it.
But
I wear the last page, last leaf
with only one word, you name, written,
on my finger
as substitute for you hands
that I can no longer hold.

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