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“On My Own” – Nayana Nair

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Once the shade of the shutters
are rolled down,
once I am left on my own,
reason and explanation rush in,
try to cling and climb up
the cracks of my heart,
and the folds of my brain,
trying desperately to stop me
to reach out, to find me
in the fog of fear.

But I am already far ahead,
my hands reach for everything it could hold,
everything it could break
and hurl them at the window
till it broke,
till I could cry
for the things that were robbed from me.
I couldn’t stop.
I couldn’t stop hurting myself
even when I lay half-broken under dangling paper curtains,
even when all that I broke pierced my skin and hurt me back.
If I stopped, I would again hear the steps
that always walks over my world and reduces me to dust.

“Closer to Me” – Nayana Nair

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Now the dark corners
are the only safe place remaining.
The loveless days
are the only memory where we can rest
where we can hide from
all the passion that we wished for,
all the feelings we couldn’t handle.

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You once wrote to me about the night
that hung as a curtain over your window,
about how you can’t gather the courage to see the light
until I came along and tore away those curtains,
broke your shields
so that you could see what lay beyond.
I once took pride in being the one
who destroyed all dark cells within you.

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But I realized too late that you were a flower
who could only bloom in dark,
that shields exist for a reason,
that each step you took towards your fear
thinking it would bring you closer to me
was just the beginning of sacrifices
you made to stay in my world.

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As I lay beside you
trying to undo my harm
trying to teach you how to forget me,
what I regret most is that
when you struggled with what you are
I was only proud of my love that could make you do all that
instead of being seeing your love
that could do what I couldn’t.

“Only She Knows” – Nayana Nair

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She left the door ajar
and closed the curtains as she left,
like she did so many things
that I didn’t ask her to do.
Like so many things I didn’t notice.
Did I fear darkness of the room?
Did I fear drifting into sleep
no longer be sure
that this body would continue breathing?
I feared a lot.
I knew the names of imaginary insects
that crawled inside my mind.
But only she knew how to close my eyes
and close my heart
to the pain and paranoia
that only I could feel.
I woke up to curtains soaking the sunlight
and the sweet humming from next room.
And I didn’t want this humming
to go farther
than this.

“Whale Songs” – Nayana Nair

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My house on hills and it’s silence
are always occupied in a duel
with the wartime echoes from far away lands,
with the agonizing voices of reality.
Even if I surround my house with
the greenest trees,
place cool streams around.
Even if I cloud my windows
with curtains of smoke.
Even if I barter with life,
even if I am ready to embrace
loneliness for the sake of peace.
In my dreams, filled with whale songs,
there are sorrows
of lives I have cut off myself from.
But I am not someone
who can save people from themselves.
I have no choice to burn
the letters,
the newspapers,
to keep myself warm and alive.

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