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“Cutouts of Star Factories” – Nayana Nair

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Though the sky is filled with lights
the nights on this land are lonely as ever.
Again I am in love
with a part of sky,
with things that we call heavenly
only because they are out of our reach,
only because they are not ours to keep,
because every god seems to love them more.

I end up on websites or with books that say
“this is how the universe looks”
“this how the stars are born”
“this is the most beautiful cloud you will ever know”
“this is something your tearful eyes can never see”.
That for every drop of light
there are an expanse of emptiness
which we cannot imagine.
That we are small and we are insignificant.

Funny how the love for things
that I thought couldn’t possibly hurt me
also takes me down the same path.
The path that I walked once
holding the hands of someone
made of flesh plastered with signs
of caution and warnings.

But it is different now.
I guess the difference lies in who tells this news to me.
If I am nothing, if this hurt that I feel because of you
is of minor importance,
if I have a life that will be easily forgotten,
then I do not have to kill myself only to be remembered well.
And maybe,
just maybe
I can forgive you for being human
and myself for not being humane enough.

“Lies I tell myself everyday” – Nayana Nair

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I tell myself again and again
what it is that I really want
as I force myself to sit there and listen to every word
that diminishes the efforts I have put in my dream.
It makes me feel strong and pathetic at the same time,
that my wanting too little
could also be something that I must be criticized for,
something I must apologize for.
They force in their way into my mind
and take away every picture, every memory that exists
not for my happiness, not as a proof of my life
but a reminder, a reason for me to forgive and let go
of all the hurtful words that my dear ones
speak at me casually in the name of care.
I beg and cry inside,
outside I look unbothered.
I resort to everything,
anything to postpone this dismantling and rating of my life
even by a day.
I tell myself again and again
I can bear this
but I don’t think I can.
Every morning I convince myself
that all I do will make sense to them someday.
But will it really?
I do not have one person who believes in me,
in what I am capable of.
How long, how far can I walk
only by the strength of a delusional value and importance
that only I can attribute to myself.

Tailoring Myself

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I was running from myself, trying to be someone different for each person of importance in my life, tailoring myself to their needs, choosing personas to inhabit and abandon, wearing masks that only obscured my own desires and the gravity of my choices. I was code-switching for the hell of it, without much purpose but with plenty of precision.

-Brandon Harris, “The lies we tell ourselves about gentrification

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