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“All I Can Do” – Nayana Nair

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If all I can do
is to write up my pain
that will fill itself every morning again.
And hide the evidence of my weakness
on pages
that burn with longing for the fading ink,
the ink that longs to see
those eyes from whom they were meant to hide.
Then I am just moving my feelings
from one dark cage to another.
They continue to grasp for air,
even if the hands that choke them have changed.

Period

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As I finish the last line of a poem,
my ballpoint pen, whose ink ran out,
collapses, completely exhausted, on the blank page.
Have a good rest.
I will mark the period with my tear.

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‘A Gentle Cow’ by Oh Sae-young

“Safe” – Nayana Nair

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My bare feet are as cold as

the marbled floor, it rests on.

And my heart is as fresh as

the smell of earth after rain.

My hands move on the rim of my glass

from which I drink up life.

And I close my eyes knowing

these bars will keep me safe.

I’ve got a key, to let in those

who care enough.

They keep me safe from the sick world

And from the cruel and the insane.

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I take off my glasses

and they powder in my fist.

I blow them through the bars

on which they settle and seem like dust.

My feet seems to sink in the floor.

And the air is red with my screams.

There is ink on my fingers, on my tongue.

On the touch of shards of my broken glass.

I bleed blue.

It’s getting lonely here,

no one cares, no one visits.

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I cannot stay here any more,

But my key doesn’t fit.

I look at those outside,

mocking me.

The bars were not to keep them out.

It was to keep me in.

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