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“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.

“Less Than Half” – Nayana Nair

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The moment I pass any door
a part of my brain whispers-
too many people,
watch you step and watch your tongue,
lest you want to be branded as one of those women
that you are are and aren’t at the same time.
For if you are not careful enough
you will soon believe everything that people say about you
as you are doing right now.
Right now only half of you exist in this body.
I know this because that is what I was calculating
in the class of areas and volumes,
as teacher taught how we determine
the volume the water left at in a cylinder of flesh
once it starts leaking from all the words that have pierced it.
Or that’s what I heard at least.
I got had good score for that class
and I got called many more names.
A little more of me seeped out
and now I am less than half of what I was.
I know this because I have lost my friends
(maybe they see I am no longer me).
I know this because my heart no longer protests
when I hear people calling me by wrong names.

“Poster” – Nayana Nair

Posted on

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I thought I would only have one poster
when I decided to clearly define what I am.
I stuck it up only after careful consideration.
Consideration of the space it takes.
Consideration of the how much I am allowed to grow.
Condsideration for the things that will be hidden away and
lost under the layer of this paper,
which is necessary
maybe only for me.
And soon when my smile changed a bit,
I had to get new poster.
When I could no longer sing along to my favoutite song,
I had to get a new poster.
When my legs became more noticeable than my words,
I had to get a new poster.
When my dreams felt hollow, I had to get a new poster.
But the soon I ran short of space.
Soon the only way to continue seeing myself for what I am
was to cover up what I was once.
To make space for another me
to exist another day.
All this
so that I do not wake up one morning
not knowing who I am.

“Other ‘Almost’s” – Nayana Nair

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Sometimes you find me the words
that I am too tired to look for.
And place it in my hand
with such careful touch,
that I feel I could almost cry.
And that too will be added
to the list of other ‘almost’s
that my life has lived through.
These moments become a house
standing at the shore of my simple wants.
I find myself thinking,
“This could be my home.
I can bear life here.
I can even get used to it.”
I am glad that I have such a place
to think about,
to look back.
Even if my feets don’t agree
to what my heart wants.

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