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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.

“Another Birdless Cage” – Nayana Nair

please don’t ask me how my friend is doing.
we broke up.
we broke up the most decent way friends can break up.
without deceit, without betrayal,
without cruel words or bloody knife on our backs,
without stories to hurt each other with,
without attempts to patch up things,
without deleting each other’s number that we never bothered to memorize.
i do not remember her till someone says her name
and when the sound of her name finds me through a stranger’s lips,
i do not feel bitterness. i not miss her.
a part of my heart is glad that life didn’t turn her my enemy
but a part of me wonders how she turned out to be nothing in my life.
when i see facebook notifications with her name,
when i get a reminder of her birthday,
when she calls me up once in a blue moon
to ask a favor for “her friend”
without bothering to ask how i have been,
what is it that am i supposed to feel?
i think it should hurt in some way.
i am waiting for it to hurt.
i am waiting to realize the meaning of this loss.
i am waiting for the day I miss her.
i want to miss her so much.

“Stay Awake” – Nayana Nair

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You loved well.
I loved well.
The saddest days we have made it though
are proof that.
We have survived through the worst,
it is just that we don’t know
how to love each other in peace.
How to keep our love alive
when there are no enemies threatening it.
The calendars change, the furniture change
and we find ourselves always sitting at opposite end of this room,
suspecting each other of sneaking this distance between us
finding a new worse to fear
and fearing even trying to move towards each other
even when we want to get rid of this silence more than anything.
While you sleep, I stay awake
knowing (guessing) you are as awake as I am.
I stay awake looking into the night
trying to create a monster
that might bring us back together.

“Like each other” – Nayana Nair

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Can it be, that
somehow we have become so much like each other
that we we have lost our own skies
lost our own rivers
and we have created this world
where there is only us.
Can it be, that the ground here shakes
to become separate,
that the air here is heavier than it was.
Only we are left to witness each other
being driven to become our worst self.
And the only enemy left to fight
are we our self.

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