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“Less Than Half” – Nayana Nair

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The moment I pass any door
a part of my brain whispers-
too many people,
watch you step and watch your tongue,
lest you want to be branded as one of those women
that you are are and aren’t at the same time.
For if you are not careful enough
you will soon believe everything that people say about you
as you are doing right now.
Right now only half of you exist in this body.
I know this because that is what I was calculating
in the class of areas and volumes,
as teacher taught how we determine
the volume the water left at in a cylinder of flesh
once it starts leaking from all the words that have pierced it.
Or that’s what I heard at least.
I got had good score for that class
and I got called many more names.
A little more of me seeped out
and now I am less than half of what I was.
I know this because I have lost my friends
(maybe they see I am no longer me).
I know this because my heart no longer protests
when I hear people calling me by wrong names.

“Resemblance” – Nayana Nair

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Have you heard about the lady that sits two seats away.
They have an awful lot to say about her.
I have never heard her speak,
but what I hear about her
is so much more interesting
than what she could possibly tell me.
No, I do not participate is spreading lies
or statements that that are as likely to be true
as they can be false.

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Some days I end up feeling more than I should.
I think of all the days I was her.
Now I am not, nor will I ever be again.
But once I was
and that makes me feel sad and then angry at her
for showing me something that I do not want to see.
If her story and her life
could have existed somewhere out of my sight,
I could have afforded some sympathy.
If I didn’t expect her to do all that I should have
and all that I couldn’t,
maybe I could have taken into consideration
that weakness that all of want get rid of.

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Rest of the days
I keep my eyes open and try to see her
apart from what I know of her,
apart from what I see of me in her.
And what little resemblance to my sorrow she had
vanishes as quickly as it appeared,
telling me to look for another mirror,
preferably not a person,
to see and regret all that I can’t blame myself for.

“My Character” – Nayana Nair

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The crowd, every crowd-
they exhaust me
and frighten me.
They take away air around me
and tell me to leave myself at the door,
if I want to come in.
They like to stare a lot,
they like to condition my mind, my eyes to look away when they stare.
Is this the point
where I am supposed to sit down with a sigh
and tell a sad story-
about how I was wronged (isn’t everyone?),
how they never apologized,
how there was nothing to apologize for,
how people find it easier to support the one in wrong,
how it is easier to hate myself that to hate so many people.
The most painful but convenient words that I can tell myself-
“maybe they were right” “i took it too personally”.
How the result of telling someone all this
are more words like these-
“you are not the only one, it happens, it is normal”
“don’t make a big deal of it”.
Is there any end to what one must hear and suffer
just to give an explanation that people want so badly to hear
and are more desperate to brush off as weakness of my own character.

“How I Leave” – Nayana Nair

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We will look at the stars
sitting in this rundown world
and pretend that the cries we hear
and the ones that escape from our mouth
is the music and the beauty we created.
We will rewrite the meaning
of the light we see
so no one else has to be burdened with sorrow,
no one is filled with pity
when they take our words in their mouth.
We will look at stars
and we will loose our voice
but as the world turns silent again,
all that is left would be the words of hope
I could never believe myself
but that’s what I want to gift.
That is how I want to leave.

“Seek Me Out” – Nayana Nair

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I can feel you crying .
I feel your tears on my cheeks.
I can feel your fear in my hand.
I feel the words of the lost one
falling on my ears.
I cannot understand if they are
the words I wanted to hear.
This life is getting lonely,
my heart is getting dark
and I have only you
the one who caused my suffering
who can stop me from
extinguising the flame of my mind-
the only place she is alive.
Why won’t you look for me?
Why won’t you seek me out?
Your misery could be a good excuse
for me to live a little longer.
Your misery could be a good excuse
to keep her face in light.

“Uncomfortable Reality” – Nayana Nair

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I remember the conversations
that I had with you
even before we met.
How you always gave me answers
that I wanted to hear.
You always told me the words
that could help me sleep better.
And though you are not
the gentle soul I dreamed of.
But even I am not the pitiful girl
that I thought I was.
And all you are
is so much better
that all you could be.
And I realize at the core of your words, that
pierce and break my delusions,
is the reality-
that I was never comfortable with
until you stood by my side
to face it with me.

“Endless Screech” – Nayana Nair

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It has been long since
I saw your face for what it was.
Now the ends of your lips droops
and your words stings and
your action have become
the endless screech of a madman.
I didn’t want to spare my words
to remind you of your change.
I didn’t want to forgive you for the nights
there was nothing but your shout and your anger
bouncing around in my head
and in this house.
I want you to know how badly
you have ruined yourself.
But you are not there in that body
and I am playing pretend of a family
with the whatever has been left behind.

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