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“could-have-beens” – Nayana Nair

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when saw my skin, i saw only cracks
cracks that would have looked worse
if i could see better.
i wanted to look away
but all i could do was think-
age is creeping up on me
slowly and cruelly
and you are not here.

i think of all the things
i can never have now.
things i meant to do everyday
things i put off, delayed
because you needed time.
all the things i denied myself
because i wanted to wait for you.

but the weight of things i have given up
seems to have increased exponentially
since you learnt to change your mind.

so me and my could-have-beens
we sit at different tables in the same world,
looking at each other with disappointment.
how ridiculous is this
that i am waiting,
even when there is no one to wait for,
even when i know that running away
was the only thing you could be relied upon for.

“Before I Forget You”- Nayana Nair

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I wanted to write something about you,
before I start forgetting-
who you were,
who i was with you,
how we lived,
and how we learned how to not live,
how we felt the extremes of helplessness,
with each other.

But I do not want to be the only voice actor
in this otherwise silent movie.
I could never read your lips.
I never moved mine.
But it should have been enough.
You convinced me that I would be enough for you.

But as I suspected you knew too little of yourself.
As I knew, my love also had limitations.
We hated what we saw in each other.
So you covered your eyes with anger,
I covered mine with fear.
And all we did for years is to sing to each other
about the loneliness that we had gifted each other.

If only we could give up on ourselves earlier,
we may not have suffered so bad,
we might not have hated each other so much.

I wish what we had was something shallow.
But it was not, our wounds are proof of that.

Lets just say that we would live on just fine
and try to believe in that as long as we can.

“Is anything left of my mask? ” – Nayana Nair

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in not so many words,
but maybe just really few.
can you tell me what you see?
when i am waiting for my turn,
when i am suspiciously silent,
when i am creating another corner
in this round room to sit, to sink into,
when i say no and get hated upon,
when i am walking away, always walking away.

can you tell me
what i look like?
is it obvious in my face,
how i miss what i am giving up?
how i feel removed from this life?
when i smile is it convincing?
or all you feel is pity?
i want to drop this act
if you already see the ruin that grows in me.

“Putting myself to sleep” – Nayana Nair

Every night
as you sleep,
I fold myself up
into someone I used to be.
I try to fit into the space beside you
where no longer fit.

But your warmth
now only brings me tears.
I wish it didn’t.
Even though I stopped wanting you,
I don’t think I stopped loving you.
I wish I didn’t.
I know I will give you up someday
but till then
I wanted to gift you few more days-
few more days of ignorance.
You will probably sleep through them
not knowing how much I must have loved you
to stay beside, you even when you were not watching,
withstanding my pain as long as possible.

The night grows deeper,
your sleep lasts longer,
my cries become louder,
but there is no one for me,
no one to care, if I cry.

Please wake up
and see my tears
before I can hide them.
Put me to sleep,
please love me back,
love me again,
before I give up on you.

“Better Clone” – Nayana Nair

If you were to find a love
that could make you complete,
I hope you find it with me.
I hope I become better
before you start looking for this love.
So that being myself won’t mean
being cruel and uncaring.
So that loving me won’t be a sacrifice.

I want to have you
without breaking you
and without breaking me.
But how often does life work out like that.

When you became the question of my life,
all I could do was hope
because what I had was not enough for myself.
What if you were to ask me something
that would remind me of my poverty?

I am afraid that this
is what you are meant to do in my life-
remind me again and again
that I am lacking in so many ways.

But all I can do is try
try to become someone who has lesser faults.
Because giving you up
is not something that I would ever want.
But some nights I wonder how long will I last
before I collapse under the weight
of your wants and mine.

“Wilted dreams of our heart” – Nayana Nair

we keep walking through these roads
lined with trees of wilted dreams,
laden with fruits
of all the happiness that we do not want.

our hearts are narrow cells
capable of far less than we think of,
but always wanting more than what it can hold.
our greed is not a monster,
but a pitiful child who has lost too much,
who refuses to give up anything anymore.

we wait for this child
to stop wanting,
to stop crying,
to stop hiding,
to stop hoping.
we wait for this road to end.
we wait to be abandoned by this child
whom we have let down too many times.

“Who I am” – Nayana Nair

I will spend some nights
listening to why I am not the one you can love.
I will keep you awake and keep myself in pain
till I get this list down,
till I memorize it all,
till “who I am” just means “what you can’t love”.

I daydream about how I will leave you.
In this fiction
I know how to stop,
there I have given up on you,
there you are seek my acceptance for a change.

But I stop dreaming just before devising,
drawing a bright future without you,
without your rejection.
I stop because I have calls to answer,
mistakes to regret, trips to plan,
friends to cut off, paint my room black,…
I stop because there is so much suffering
I have to live through
before I am allowed to forget you.

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