“Born Like This” – Nayana Nair

“i was born like this”, I lie,
when I really want to say

“the normal ones, the sane ones
are surprisingly excellent at
breaking anyone without any guilt whatsoever.

i no longer have strength
to leave them, or beg them,
or handle the repercussion of wanting them.

i fear them only when i cry
though i am not exactly sure why it should be so.

the positivity, the kindness, the unity, the charity, the world peace
that they talk about
looks so beautiful when put in action
for example,
there are holes in me though i have never seen a bullet in my life
and i am not allowed to say it is their doing
“it is a result of my negative thinking and bad karma” i parrot
like i have been taught to.

this burnt skin, this distrustful heart,
the layers of clothes that are prerequisite of proving my modesty
if god-forbid i let loose an animal in someone just because i exist,
the logs of missed calls and blocked calls and blocked memories
that are the only things protecting me now.
this is how i was born.

Though absurd, it sounds like truth the more I say it.
This is how I hurt whatever is left of my heart.

“Leftover” – Nayana Nair

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I do not want to continue this-
to harbor, carry around,
give voice to feelings of sympathy
that can never be more than words.
After I have said all the right things
and you have given the correct response,
we feel we have done everything we can
that a good person must do to save the world,
when we are just protecting the leftover
humanity we have in ourselves,
to wear it like a badge
in conversations that can bring no change.
You, me,
our indulgent families, our fun-loving friends,
our irritating neighbours-
have never stepped out of our own lives
never given up on our comforts
unless it is for accumulating some good karma.
We should not be allowed to feel so generous
for saying so much and doing so little.