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“incoherent” – Nayana Nair

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i looked best dressed in incoherent words.
everyone assumed that i am drunk on something.
everyone assumed me to be an artist for that.

any word that left my mouth
was just another way to pronounce self-doubt.
the only way to stay and run away at the same time.

the way i speak,
“you are beautiful” and “i hate you”
sounds the same.
the way i speak
“i want to die” sounds same as “i love you”.
my name sounds same as any other name.

what is the use of having this name
that no one calls.
so i sign my the heart of my temporary admirer
with “tear”, “snow”, “goodbye”, “sleep”….
so many sad beautiful words
that cause less hurt than my name.

“Fictional Friends” – Nayana Nair

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i break another glass today,
the girl with blue highlights in her hair
walks over it without bleeding
but tells me
not to try such things at home on my own,
that it took her years of invisibility
to even try such tricks.
but she has no suggestions for what else i should do
instead of breaking my smooth skin
and wrecking my good name.
so she tells me a story about a girl and wolf,
another about a girl and her impossible dream,
about a girl and her sad prince,
a girl and the dark world,
a girl and whatever wants to break her down.
she tells me i don’t have to be that girl.
that i just have to be person who happens to be a girl
and not hate herself for it.


it is night already.
i find myself in strange blue rooms.
i hold hands with another new stranger
who promises to sing me to sleep.
he walks like heartache that knows how to smile.
he pretends to be the real deal.
he is too drunk on his own sad story like me
to even see anyone else.
so no we are not in love.
i just want to borrow his songs,
his voice, his awareness of all that is wrong.
i look out of his window, at my own home
at my friends, at my love, at broken frame of my family,
at myself who is trying too hard
to be indifferent to it all.


the battery of my phone dies
and i am alone again in this life
that i can’t find my way around.
i am somewhat lost, tired,
and yet somehow happy
to have lived through this despair,
through another dark night.

“Worse than Imperfect” – Nayana Nair

You were the most imperfect person I ever met
and have made me believe that I am worse.

Or maybe I saw too much of you.
so much
that you made me feel sick of you,
sick of myself,
and sick of whatever they call love.

You stumbled around
walking over my feelings,
drunk on your pride
and your sense of entitlement,
threw away what I treasured
because obviously you knew better,
called me insane
called me names
when I called you out on your hypocrisy.

Waking up next morning
expecting understanding,
expecting obedience,
expecting another day of a convenient love
with this inconvenient woman.
One day, that day won’t come.

“Have a Good Day” – Nayana Nair

I was sat down and told repeatedly everyday
that though the world belongs to all of us,
sometimes it is better
to step back,
to only take up the space we need.
I misunderstood it to be a lesson in humility,
wanting less, and sacrifice,
but I realize now that it was not so.
I was told to stop before I anger someone,
before someone got jealous,
or before they saw the weakness of my gender.

As I stand on the balcony at midnight
and hear drunk shady men shouting, cursing, and stumbling,
as they make their way to their broken homes,
I remind myself
this is what I am supposed to fled,
a person who is allowed to loose their mind,
a person who will always have excuse to hurt.
This what everyone wanted me to become,
someone who is proficient at spotting dangers,
who can conjure up the worst possible scenarios
when they hear another’s footsteps on deserted streets,
and see the worst possible demons in the face of men.

These days I often hear people say
that the new meaning of a powerful woman is
the one who walks into misfortune willingly,
before she is stalked and defeated by it.
Is this the only alternative to what I am living?

I wish that when I walked past a stranger on streets
I could smile and wish them a good day,
without having to fear being misunderstood,
without the echoes of ‘she asked for it’ in my mind.

“how to love you?”- Nayana Nair

I want to ask,
“Does my love matter to you,
when your love is all that matters to me?”
But I don’t.
What good is it,
to hold onto such hope.
How much could you love me?
Already I dissolve in air
the moment your eyes leave me,
how can I let your lips touch my name?
What will I do if I lose myself
when I lose you one day?

-x-

But day by day,
my fear to come closer to you
and your unawareness of my wavering heart
are becoming insignificant to me.
It won’t be long
before I forget the reasons I hesitated.
It won’t be long
before I get drunk on the future that I has not even started,
before I realize that my biggest fear was not
that I would be broken in your hands
but that I would change even when I don’t want to,
that I would forget how to love you
and that you would be the one
who ends up broken.

“Adjust to Red” – Nayana Nair

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It was gruesome
because everyone kept walking,
thinking they can move on and grow up,
only if they stepped over
whatever was left of themselves
to become friends with the faces
that are still drunk and happy
with the taste of their weakness.
It was scary
because it was normal
to be cruel,
not only in hatred, but also in love.
It was unbearable,
till it was not.
Till my eyes adjusted to the red,
till my hand became familiar
with touching all that is dying
or touching only to kill.
Till I learnt to close my eyes
to everthing
I knew
I couldn’t save.

“Show You Around” – Nayana Nair

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Let me show you around.
This place that you think as mine
will soon be yours one day.
Especially because you will want to own this mess
more than you want to own my heart.
And though my eyes might roll
at the sound of the word “own”
but that’s just how things are.

One day we might yearn for each other’s glance.
And slowly with unsure lips we pray for more-
for some sweet words, for a secret to keep
for happiness of a day, for hands that don’t let go.
And soon with love drunk lips we demand more-
for reasons, for time we never seem to have,
for guarantees, for becoming better than what we are.

And that day when you will have all that you demand
and still feel like I have not given it all.
Come to this room, and see this mess.
These old clothes, old words;
these unwashed plates with leftover moldy attention.
And realize why I don’t want you here-
in this museum of what I was.
This is not the world I want to share with you.
Can’t we build a better one.

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