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“Creature of Claw” – Nayana Nair

How long should I bleed
for the one who holds the knife.

I pluck another flower of kindness
to appease the one who won’t even smile for me.
He looks at it and tells me the tested foolproof ways
to kill this useless plant that grows in me
and cracks his shield.

He tells me he will love me more
if I will cut his skin
instead of making him look as bad as he is,
if I struggle a bit to get back at him
rather than struggle to know him like this.

He says
“i would like us to be peas of the same pod,
i would like us to be the insects with same appetite,
i would like you so so much more,
if you would help me rule this world
that doesn’t listen to me. if you could speak
the same words as i do, words dipped in careless anger
rather than the ones served with pity.
don’t tell me the danger of my dagger
by slicing away your skin. you feel more like an enemy now.
the more you bleed to make me suffer,
to make me give up, the farther you get
from the person i could love.”

How long should I bleed
for the one who holds the knife
to stop him from cutting his own heart.
This will hurt him, he knows,
eventually if not now.
Yet he is becoming a creature of claw with a paper skin,
he is growing a dream
from the horrors he has only read.
The unnatural pauses on his lips,
the look of helplessness in his eyes
makes me wonder if he even knows how to stop.

“Sense of Urgency” – Nayana Nair

Today I realized
what to call all that I have been reading for so long.
A person I didn’t mean to overhear called it ‘a sense of urgency’-
the desire to save this world as soon as possible.

It seems the enemies are too many.
I saw many names in the list of these enemies
that I silently agreed with-
pollution, dictatorship, bullying,
monetization of education, competing in a rigged world,
oppression of lives and loves of minority, hate crimes,…

I scoffed at some:
the collapse of society in the hands of socially withdrawn,
collapse of economy in the hands of those who want and do less,
the unfeeling and unapologetic generation that seems to love depression,
women whose learning and thinking too much only breaks families,…

“this is the cause worth dying for”-
I suddenly became afraid of that feeling.

As I read all the absurd causes I couldn’t agree with.
As I read and became exasperated at the words of those
who were convinced that they knew better
even as they killed and killed and killed
and got addicted to seeing blood dissolving in oceans.
I realized
how dangerous this feeling could be.

“this is what to means to change the world.
to change the world
is to walk over everything I don’t want to see”
My sense of urgency hated me for thinking this.
It recited every quote about silence of good men.
But all I could now see was the line that I must not cross,
the words I must not say, the knife that I must never hold-
no matter the cause.

“Counting the Pieces Left” – Nayana Nair

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shadows of evening
are still in my room
the morning rays,
the flickering light bulb,
your laughter,
they don’t do much.

cause this life
of mirrored sunshines and smiles
makes me feel nothing.
there is something wrong with my heart
which you might have known all along.

i toss another piece of me
into the ocean.
it is one other piece of me
that you will never see, will never have again.
you hold my hand and tell me
what i have thrown away
was too difficult to find in this world,
that it was your most favorite thing about me.

i want to cry and apologize to you
but i sit there feeling relieved
now that I have one less thing to lose.
there is something wrong with me
to not want your kindness and your love.
it is not your fault dear.

“I am sad, bitter, and in love” – Nayana Nair

I look at you and I see myself.
I see my weakness, that is you.
I see my failure, that is you.
But if I put it like this
it may seem that you are
just another darkness in my life,
but you are not.
There is a reason that even when my mouth recites
sad stories and bitter words about you
my eyes, my heart only looks for you.
There is a kindness in you
a love in you, for me,
that surfaces, even when you try to hide it.

In your imperfections
I see the imperfections of my own love,
how I cannot love all of you
even when I want to.
I wish sometimes
I was not this person that I am.
Sometimes I wish you were a little less lovely,
a little less lovable.
Maybe then it would have been easier,
been okay,
to walk over this love
that I cannot let go of now.

“What I Remember(8)”- Nayana Nair

when i see my past pain in your tears

now come here,
come inside
and cry how much ever you want.
we don’t want the neighbors to know
how much worse we are doing than them.
trust me dear,
it does no one good
if you go around with these puffed eyes
and cracking voice.

you know, these days
it is not wise to act out frustrations
you never know who is idle enough to observe us
and label us as another example
of a failed generation,
a disappointment,
write an article on
how luxury has spoiled these children,
that we are just a bunch of aimless attention seeking
humans who refuse to grow up,
that we are weak to indulge in something so petty.
they will hand you the list of people who are doing worse
(i have plenty of those stuffed in drawers,
just in case if you are curious to know what it says)

i know nothing is right
but it will be.
we will make it right
but till then
do not wait for kindness,
do not expect understanding.
if you get them be grateful,
but don’t wait for someone to come and pick you up.
we will make through this
not because we are strong enough to face all this
but because this is not the first time
our lives are wrecked by these unacknowledged pains.
like always we will break ourselves
and grow smaller in our attempts to grow up.

“Empty Shells” – Nayana Nair

The list of all the words that I use and don’t know meaning of:

friend, understanding, dream, ethics,
distance, space, wait, promise,
family, kindness, virtue, trust,
love, love, love, love, love, love,
(I was told I need to be especially obsessed with love
if I want to be normal)

I, me,
memory (real or invented),
boundary between reality and fiction…

What a poor human I am
that I carry around these empty shells
pretending as if I know their worth.
All the flags that I carry
of the countries
to which I do not belong.
All the people who I live with,
only because I cannot live without them.
What an excuse to walk on this road
that will eventually to lead to a heartbreak.
Every heartbreak a drop on my window
and it has been monsoon for years altogether.
What a sloppy way to end all things
that I never wanted to begin.

“Removed” – Nayana Nair

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I could look at his face without the need
of looking for places to hide.
I could look at him
and be assured he will look back at me
with kindness I couldn’t have.
And this assurance, this trust
was the reason that I had to hide,
had to look away.
For what would be left of me
if all the misery and complaints
I had from life
and from myself
would be removed by his love.

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