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“Sweet Nothings” – Nayana Nair

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i crawl into another embrace,
scratch the surface of my fake love
to find something true.
hopes.
hopes.
is this what they call hope?
it must be.

the coffee turns cold as my story ends.
again i am wearing a skin i have stolen.
the one breathing beside me
has a knack for sad stories recited by happy girls,
of being a knight to one he doesn’t have to save.

me,
i love drowning the world in sadness
(the only way i can take anyone’s breath away)
i love leaving loose ends,
leaving people behind-
i call it the fear of being left behind.
i have a list of similar innocent motivation
for every mess i make, for the mess i have become.

when he leaves
i throw away the coffee he never drinks.
i get over my urge to be seen for what i am.
i dip my fingers into another color
that he might like, or at least remember.

“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.

“Flowers used to bloom here” – Nayana Nair

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There is a wall of flowers before her.
She looks at it as if they are a softer kind of firework,
a firework in reverse,
the colors leaving the petals, crawling deep into itself,
leaving the color of the inevitable sad ending
that Nature always ends up falling for,
after a series of boys who lied to her about a forever
in their mellow green kisses.

A lesson on subtraction
for a girl trying to learn
about the reasons and the ways
a void like hers is created.

“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.

“The Usual” – Nayana Nair

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Sure I don’t feel hollow for the every minute we don’t speak.
Sure I don’t wait for your messages when I am with friends.
And I don’t feel weak
even when your anger breaks my back
and your love breaks my heart.

You told me something was wrong with me
and this is not how people usually love.
They find ways to be with each other
and miss everything they had together,
even with the distance of few hours.

You told me, so I doubted.
I doubted the way I loved.
I doubted I knew what I feel and how I feel,
but after putting myself under the heat of
uncomfortable observation
and comparing what I was to every girl you liked.

And now I can assure you
that I love you and I miss you
but just not the way you’d like.
For every hero that walks this earth,
that shines on screens and stories
takes up your face
and every quote of love gone good and love gone bad
brings up our image.

But my kind of love knows not how to turn away from
everything I have always loved
(even my loneliness)
just because I love you.
So sorry for not being the usual.
Sorry for being this weak.

“What I Remember(4)” – Nayana Nair

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I tell myself that I have nothing worth saying and that no one wants to listen.
I know this because I have tried to speak my mind
and in best cases I have been told that my mind is not that right,
that the experience that I speak from doesn’t exist for them,
so they will unanimously refuse to acknowledge my narrative.
Or they will smile at me and look down at me.
But I am not their adorable kid who had got her alphabets mixed up.
I am a person equal to them,
and my level of ignorance is equal to them
even if it is not about same things.

***

I am a person equal to them.
I am a person equal to them
I am a person equal to them…
I have to keep repeating it
or else I might just forget.
Maybe I have already started to forget
because these days I speak in small sentences, waiting for affirmative nods.
I find myself reading everything that they will approve of.
I find myself voicing what they want to hear.
I see myself calling myself stupid before they call me one.
I see myself nod understandingly at everything I disagree with.
I hear the arguments inside me against the favorite opinions of everyone
and they stay inside me,
and everyone is happy.

***

“You are too young to know better, to know reality.
You are too girlish to see the world for what it is.
You are too sentimental to speak logically.”
I know the wall of judgement I will run into
if I let myself speak.

***

So you may actually want to listen
and you might not be like others.
But I can’t bring myself to speak about what matters to me.
Cause either I will be wounded at my weakest spot
or I will end up hating you just for being like everyone else
when you ridicule me, interrupt me to correct me
and try to tell me what I should be feeling instead.
I won’t give you a chance
because I can’t take chances with our friendship.
I won’t speak up
because I don’t want to feel more inferior than I already do.

***

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