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“Backseat” – Nayana Nair

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we get onto the car
that we wish was stolen
i look at her (not my lover, yet),
at him (my friend – we share the same passion
of finding new things to be disappointed about),
i look at the the small bags we have packed
and realize that this is far too less to start a life
i count them as i get in
i realize one of us probably
has nothing worth carrying around in life.

she keeps telling me that unlike us
she has to take care of things
so she is bound to be late
she says this while she texts the food preferences
of her beloved pet
to someone who owes her one
(i feel something similar to jealousy seeing this).

and he keeps changing the radio station
as if he knows what he is looking for,
as if he has grown up on radio songs and commercials,
but he hasn’t.
he says that is what makes it more romantic,
the unknown that was always in front of you
to finally acknowledge something
that shouldn’t have been invisible from the start.

i just look at them, making mental notes,
calculating the chances that we might come to our senses
(that would be pretty sad, if that happens).
i keep looking back
as if i was being abducted,
dragged out of heaven against my wishes.
but it is no heaven
(not anymore).

so i sleep in the backseat
hiding my tears under the blanket of darkness-
since i do not want to recall every thing
that made this place and my body unholy, unbearable;
since i don’t want ask these two
about what they are running away from.
i wonder if i will ever know a home
that won’t drive me away.

“I have nothing of you” – Nayana Nair

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I walked into troubles, into fogged minds,
into friend circles that cultivated their alter egos
on every meager piece of earth
that they otherwise couldn’t plant their feet upon.

I walked into crumbling cities, into impossible dreams,
into the lifeless replicas of your heart-
hoping you would come after me.
But as time ate me up
I just hoped that you’d remember name at the least.

I wish that you had stepped a little closer to me,
given me false hope, and broken my heart.
but I have nothing of you,
nothing to hate you for,
nothing to remember your love by,
except the empty place I made for you to stay in me
– the only part of me that makes living difficult for me.

“Ready to Break” – Nayana Nair

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We are the mediocre television soap
that no one wants to see.
We have learned to gulp down bland food, bland life.
The books that get us jobs, get us friends, gets us love,
we have learned to pay for it without bitterness.

We adore the mania, the depression,
the moments when we don’t want to think clear-
that makes us feel alive,
anything like that,
we are ready to call it love.

In our small hands we carry
whatever meaning we have left in us-
the offering that no gods want.
We are ready to break for anyone
who is ready to break for us.

“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.

“Whatever Blooms in Darkness” – Nayana Nair

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When all things that are not divine
found a home in me,
I realized they would probably
be the only friends I ever make.
I read up many books
and considered taking up some mildly destructive
and slightly disturbing hobbies,
so that I could know them better.
So I could become someone they could accept.
I looked for a teacher who could teach me
how to love back darkness,
how to become a wound itself
instead of nursing one forever.


I want to say I found happiness
in that one friend
with sad eyes and bitter lips.
But there still lived in me
that one girl made of light
who wanted to ruin me
by guiding me back to life.

“What I Remember (12)” – Nayana Nair

hailstones.
that’s what i remember.
when the stones fell
onto the already breaking roofs of our class,
the girl who sat three rows ahead
stopped reading.
everyone who was busy day dreaming,
who had shut their ears to every useless fact that we come to learn,
knew how to listen to this,
to this violence that could hurt but won’t.

i sat there listening,
wondering if my skin would also be able bear
what this tin sheet roof can,
if my classmates would look at me
understand their violence that could break me but hasn’t yet.

maybe it was our silence,
maybe it was the teachers glare
that made it stop,
made the loud shrieking rain to end.
and when she left
the stones had already turned into dripping water.
the kids wanting to forget
the trauma of being silenced,
of having their dreams interrupted,
of being reminded of their helplessness
recited incidents that didn’t happen,
tried to laugh a little louder than usual,
made another joke at the expense of someone like me
and so my only memory of hailstone
was also reduced to the din of students (who never liked me).

i closed my books and pretended to be asleep
while everyone ate and talked to their friends.
i waited for everyone to leave
so I could eat alone
without being ashamed for being left alone.
“hailstones”.
i said the word aloud in that empty classroom.
i had one more words now
to describe these kids who scared me by their meanness,
who made me like the prospect of loneliness.

“Weekend Friend” – Nayana Nair

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I tell my friends
that “i’ll probably die with loneliness.”
They smile and reply “me too”.
I wish I had told them “i love you” instead.

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