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“What I Remember (26)” – Nayana Nair

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I covered up myself up-
hiding the pieces,
hiding the glue,
hiding the knife close to my heart.
There is too little time
and so much to be disposed,
so much has to be kept at the bottom of the stairs,
under the sheets,
under the hand that cupped my face
so that no one could say with certainty
whether I am laughing or crying or thinking
about the hands that will never touch my face again
or wondering why I can’t move away
or keep away from mines and alligators
and magma and my fearful heart and dark wells
and palaces that never sink or get ruined
completely and green roads of past and red
destinations in my hands and love for colors
that will not love me back and following the one
with tearful eyes and the thoughts of some end,
any end.
All this extravagance,
so that no one could see my see through my real feelings
being eaten up by imaginary words and scenarios.

“All the boxes are checked” – Nayana Nair

It hurts a bit more naturally
and less violently,
now that betrayal has a range,
has not one but many faces.
Now I need not figure what I did wrong.

All the boxes are checked:

family, family, friends, not friends,
thank-god-we-were-never-friends friends,
i-am-sad-i-stood-up-for-you friends,
people who marked my skin with their name
to own me
while i slept in their arms
(another golden cup added to collection of people hard to get,
people who won’t die if thrown away or left alone)
loves whom i am tied to,
the ones who demand smile and sometimes a bit more,
always a bit more.

They know the feel of my hand and love how it heals.
They hold my hand in their sleep
in their nightmares, in the storms of passion
that they need a person to aim at.
They break my wrist
in my nighmares, in my awareness of my fruitless love.
When I am at verge of crying,
they tell me to not give them a hard time
and to act like the refuge that I am supposed to be.

So I tell them “I love you”
and this lie hurts a little less everyday
as my heart becomes the stone pedestal
all my loves stand on.

“Two Cups” – Nayana Nair

I don’t drink coffee.
I quit long ago, don’t remember why.
I quit long ago, you haven’t just noticed yet.
Nevertheless there are two cups on this table.
that is all it takes
to make me feel that we are strangers.
But you are the only stranger who loves me.
You only love me because you don’t know me.
That is all it takes
to make me feel indebted and guilty.
I guess one cup won’t hurt much.

“What we won’t find” – Nayana Nair

I have spent every bit of my energy
trying not to cry, not to lose,
trying to believe that this suffering is fine,
that I’ll somehow make it through.
I struggle
to forget all the compromises
that have only given me new scars that no one can see but me,
to come in terms with the fact
that it is not my lacking that keeps me away from what I want
but the fact that I am not welcome where I am going,
I am not the one people want to see.

My heart, your love and happiness are both gone.
You cannot recognize them even if they return,
for my eyes have lost their light by seeing too much of this world.
We can be nothing more human version of disposable cups
to the ones who look through us, who live to hate us.
We will bleed till we die waiting for kindness that we won’t find,
for we are not made of stone even if every mirror shows us that we are.

Tomorrow, lets admit that we are not good enough,
lets just pack up bags and walk till we
find an easier dream or an easier death.

“Aunt” – Nayana Nair

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“Yes, I do have plans for my future my dear aunt.”
I say, after I see her put her cup down and look at me
with sympathy and resentment.
“How can we not worry.
It is your future we are talking about.”

Actually, I never had these conversation,
at least not with my aunt.
I never had such an aunt to bother me.
But there are relatives and other faces
that I am hiding under the name of a non-existent aunt.
Sometimes it is me who is hiding under that name instead.

I am handed down spare maps
that I am supposed to study and follow.
Mark my route and choose someone
who could help me get up in the morning
even if it out of hatred.
I am sure it will be hatred
because I have seen no one one who has sorted their life
to wake up feeling that they have done it right.

My bitterness might make me seem like
a remainder of uneasy and uncomfortable families,
but it is not so.
There are just too many non-existent aunts in our house
who thinks we could have done better, chosen better,
lived better-
if only we could get our act together
and stopped acting like the world owes us some kind of happiness.

This constant re-evaluation of life
and its result coming out as failure every time
makes everything we live with
and everyone we choose as a mistake.
What is this “better” that doesn’t let us live?

“The Better That We Want”- Nayana Nair

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Once we are done with the ritual of tea,
as I leave the room with his cup and mine,
I leave behind my shadow with him.
That is his favorite part of his evening
and he is all too happy to talk to a quieter me.
He feels my shadow is somehow better than me.
He finds it more understanding
and more similar to the feminine company
he always wanted in his life.
Someone who knows how to listen,
and who knows when not to think.
Someone who would look up to his words
with the certainty of truth
and would be the first one to realize his specialness.
I can understand where he comes from,
it is tiring to impress everyone all the time
fearing when we will falter, when we will fall in their eyes.
I can understand, even when I don’t want to,
for even I have wished for the same things
that only an imbalance of power or naivety of a lover
can give me.

“Big Mistake” – Nayana Nair

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I’ll sit down and tell you
how many times I have betrayed your trust
by being a person that you don’t know me as.
And you tell me the same.
But can you assure me,
that we will sit here and keep talking on
about other things again?
If you can’t answer
and if you don’t want to know,
then probably we seek more than answers from each other
and truth probably isn’t our cup of tea.
For I want you to keep looking at you
the way I do now
and facing reality seems like a big mistake.

“Inside our bones” – Nayana Nair

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The cup of emptiness that we want to taste
but we never make.
That blue winter inside our bones.
It is not empty nor cold.
It if full of all our fears.
It has face of all we have lost
and all that can be lost.
And it grows everyday
by huge proportions.
It grows as much
as we grow small.

A Russian Word

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There must be a Russian word to describe what has happened
between us, like ostyt, which can be used
for a cup of  tea that is too hot, but after you walk to the next room,
and return, it is too cool; or perekhotet,
which is to want something so much over months
and even years that when you get it, you have lost
the desire.

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“Letter to a Lost Friend” , Barbara Hamby

“Our House” – Nayana Nair

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In that house that stands
on the border of two hearts,
where as your eyes scan the room
I became one of the collected belongings.
I found your curses and blames
hidden in odd places.
In the bottom of a tea cups, of tea made too sweet
In the peels of an apple left on tables.
In the picture frames full of strangers.
In the list of unanswered calls.
In the names you murmured in your sleep.
Where I ceased to belong to either world
and belonged just to you.
And it made me sad.
In that house
Where the promises feel the lack of ‘forever’.
I took my last breath
as your love.

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