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“Creature of Claw” – Nayana Nair

How long should I bleed
for the one who holds the knife.

I pluck another flower of kindness
to appease the one who won’t even smile for me.
He looks at it and tells me the tested foolproof ways
to kill this useless plant that grows in me
and cracks his shield.

He tells me he will love me more
if I will cut his skin
instead of making him look as bad as he is,
if I struggle a bit to get back at him
rather than struggle to know him like this.

He says
“i would like us to be peas of the same pod,
i would like us to be the insects with same appetite,
i would like you so so much more,
if you would help me rule this world
that doesn’t listen to me. if you could speak
the same words as i do, words dipped in careless anger
rather than the ones served with pity.
don’t tell me the danger of my dagger
by slicing away your skin. you feel more like an enemy now.
the more you bleed to make me suffer,
to make me give up, the farther you get
from the person i could love.”

How long should I bleed
for the one who holds the knife
to stop him from cutting his own heart.
This will hurt him, he knows,
eventually if not now.
Yet he is becoming a creature of claw with a paper skin,
he is growing a dream
from the horrors he has only read.
The unnatural pauses on his lips,
the look of helplessness in his eyes
makes me wonder if he even knows how to stop.

“Aftermath” – Nayana Nair

Like me, probably many have tried their best
to set their limits,
have learned how to stop before learning how to move.
We recite story of forgiveness,
of patience, of eternal undying love
to our children at night.
and when they fall asleep
we recite these stories to ourselves,
so that we may not forget them.
I remember all the proofs, every news that told me
how wanting more, wanting somewhere’s share of happiness,
wanting too much- can result in catastrophes.
that is how I learnt that some wants can destroy lives,
can create demons out of people.
The one who wrongs and the one who is wronged
just move around this world
trying outrun the aftermath of careless actions.

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