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"the shadow at the foot of my bed" – Nayana Nair

today is the birthday of one another oddity of mine.
on a day like this,
few calendars ago
i learnt how to turn my helplessness into my charm.
i learnt to fill the glasses, the throats of everyone i know
with something sweet, with a taste they can’t name.
i learnt to become something that can’t be known or hurt.
in my bedroom i sit at the foot of my bed
trying to block out the presence, the weight
of the other half of my body
clinging, clawing, crying, dissociating.
i again forget where i am.
i again forget how to stop shaking.
if i walk a bit more into the darkness
i feel i won’t have to pretend to be the one
who has a say in what happens to her.
a hand slips into mine.
sometimes it rests on my waist,
and i force myself not to feel nauseated.
love him. love her. i tell myself repeatedly.
love. love. love. love till i can make up for all my lacks.
my love is my penance, my apology
to anyone who chooses me as their destiny.

“Landmark” – Nayana Nair

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There always remains a distance between us
that cannot be crossed by foot, by word,
or by even tearing and pasting our maps a bit more closer.
But it is okay.
Let us not lose what we have for what is not needed.
We do not need to cross all that separates us.
We do not need to make it the objective of our love.
We can remember it
as the landmark near which we can always find each other,
as the world that must exist, for us to exist.

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