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"Now playing: the ominous names you are yet to know, yet to resent" – Nayana Nair

I board the train that I could
thinking,
only thinking about the one I couldn’t.
There are only tunnels, only darkness,
no network,
only cold metal that I rest my head
hoping for my fever to come down,
only windows that turn into mirror.

In those momentary mirrors
I always look like someone on life support.
In the crowd that no longer suffocates me
I cling to the wires that fill my ears
with the sound of past, with love that will never come back,
with the love that I will never be,
with everything I can’t bear to talk about nor forget.

Though it pains me to look at myself for more than 2 seconds,
I force myself to withstand my stare.
For if I take my eyes away from me
I end up looking into eyes of strangers
who twist and distort their faces
asking for a reason they can understand
or they end up looking away,
their heart as fragile as mine.

We all act as if we can know each other by a glance,
as if we would prefer to be the backdrop, the wallpaper
than to find eyes that can actually see us,
than to know one more human who is hell bent on proving
the brittleness of our species.
I understand their heart, their fear all too well.
My skin remembers what their heart has forgotten.
Though I don’t think anyone really forgets things like these.

"the shadow at the foot of my bed" – Nayana Nair

today is the birthday of one another oddity of mine.
on a day like this,
few calendars ago
i learnt how to turn my helplessness into my charm.
i learnt to fill the glasses, the throats of everyone i know
with something sweet, with a taste they can’t name.
i learnt to become something that can’t be known or hurt.
in my bedroom i sit at the foot of my bed
trying to block out the presence, the weight
of the other half of my body
clinging, clawing, crying, dissociating.
i again forget where i am.
i again forget how to stop shaking.
if i walk a bit more into the darkness
i feel i won’t have to pretend to be the one
who has a say in what happens to her.
a hand slips into mine.
sometimes it rests on my waist,
and i force myself not to feel nauseated.
love him. love her. i tell myself repeatedly.
love. love. love. love till i can make up for all my lacks.
my love is my penance, my apology
to anyone who chooses me as their destiny.

“I love you (probably)” – Nayana Nair

I wish falling for you was easier
but it isn’t, it could never be
that is not how you like it-
easy love goes only as far as that
and maybe that is why I loved you.
Or maybe that’s what I tell myself.
Everything I tell myself is a whisper,
a secret from you.
I tell myself stories of a ‘you’
that probably never existed.
I hope you never get to hear them,
for now even my sacrifices feel like betrayals.
I am afraid, till the end
my heart would only be able to love the fiction of you.
I am afraid, till the end
you would remain unloved.
Even when you don’t deserve to be.
That hurts me more than knowing that
even I cannot be truly loved by you.

“Glow in dark” – Nayana Nair

it was once possible
to be a parrot who was a doctor
who sang in a choir of angels
who saved the world from villains
with ridiculously evil funny names.

it was easy to speak of wants-
a pair of shoes with lights
and a glow in dark radium cello tape
and an army uniform and cream rolls
and a tiara with anything that shines
and the cards i don’t know how to play
and…

once i used to be simple.
i left my sleep
to live like the guy
who runs for hundred years
to rescue the princess.
waiting to reach
a blurry 8-bit princess
that never shows up at any castle
of my world
was not a source of
disappointment (or depression) then.

“Two Cups” – Nayana Nair

I don’t drink coffee.
I quit long ago, don’t remember why.
I quit long ago, you haven’t just noticed yet.
Nevertheless there are two cups on this table.
that is all it takes
to make me feel that we are strangers.
But you are the only stranger who loves me.
You only love me because you don’t know me.
That is all it takes
to make me feel indebted and guilty.
I guess one cup won’t hurt much.

“Hope you feel the same” – Nayana Nair

I read about the life you left behind.
About the days when love couldn’t protect anyone.
Days when there rose a necessary evil in you.
It seems once you were good enough
to fall for the traps that I live in.
I wish I had known the fragile you,
but maybe it is all for the best,
for my cruelty walks hand in hand with my love.

In your room, as you smile
and joke about the tears you have hidden in your diaries,
about the new hearts that you had to grow every year.
As I peel off my makeup and my sarcastic words,
I realize that I am about to fall for you
(probably for all the wrong reasons).

Though I might not have been looking
for someone sad to love,
but ‘not having to explain’ helps.
It helps that you, like me, know and understand
that showing wounds sometimes hurt more than getting them.

“Eavesdrop” – Nayana Nair

From my empty room,
from the edge of my personal cliff,
I looked into the windows of strangers,
looked over their shoulder at texts they write,
looked at the pages where their bookmark rests,
silently waited at the edge of my chair
trying to overhear responses to the big questions.

And all I have known by prying so hard
is that there is nothing there.
Nothing in the text that could pass for shorthand.
The same book rests on the same table for years,
serving only the role of a carefully thought out accessory.
No question is big enough to be carefully considered.
No relationship is important enough to be held to heart.
That I was foolish to believe otherwise till now.
That I am putting myself on another path to heartbreak
if I do not believe in the night that I see.
I must unlearn the way I have lived
to find a place to belong.

In between the cold beginning and cruel ends
that are the parentheses of our lives,
there is nothing for me to hang on to.
But it helps to know
that there are plenty of empty rooms in this painful smaller eternity,
that I need not kill myself over an emptiness so common.
And it is really difficult to feel alone once I know that.

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