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“Version” – Nayana Nair

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Sometimes the hatred, the bias that
people around him smoked
sticks to his clothes, his skin, his tongue
when I come near him.
He can wash it from himself with a sleep.
He can leave it at the door, when he steps in.
But I can’t wash it out of my mind.

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In my mind
I mix up the person he is and the person he has to be.
But I realise that I do not know the person he is,
I only know the person he has to be for me,
I only resent the person he has to be for others.

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The person he is, looks at me from his corner of eyes
and this stranger looks at me
not across oceans, not across roads of fate,
but across the versions of us filling up the space between us,
the versions we can never throw away.

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This stranger looks at me and gives me the smile
that he has to wear for me.
For me to realise the love I have for the the days
I share with this person who spends his days with me,
loses his ways with me and grows old with me.
I smile back becoming the person I have to be for him,
becoming the version I love the most.

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“The Cold Returns” – Nayana

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The steps I walk
and the fate I follow
all run into faces that somehow
already know all the reason to despise me.
Why is it that walking in these shadows
calms my heart and brings it pain
at the same time.
Is this how life is to be lived?
I myself this all the time.
For if not for my own voice,
there won’t be any answers returning to me
from this world that seems more far away
when I look for answers,
than when I look for places hide.

But I look at the moon today with a new eyes.
I find I am no longer alone,
when you look back everytime you leave.
I find I am no longer alone,
when left to myself, I have someone else to think of.
I no longer need assurances and promises
from this life, if only you walk this earth
with a smile and a lighter heart.
The cold returns to my heart again,
freezing your memories forever in me,
and I smile.
I am no longer alone,
nor are you.

“More Boxes” – Nayana Nair

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Everyday I buy more boxes and more trunks,
to stow away the harmless opinions and stories of mine
that have never left my mouth,
and have never known
how the cold air of this world feels like.
They are better off not knowing
how they are going to be broken and crushed
till nothing of them is left.
Let them die in the voiceless trunks.
At least a corpse of what they were
and the soul of what they lost
shall be locked in the same walls.
That’s the only kindness I am capable of delievering-
to spare them the purity of meaning
and dignity of thought
that was never put to question
and never put to shame
by this world
that to everyone does the same.

“Asking for More” – Nayana Nair

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The lost all gather
at the same door as I.
They shout, yell and cry.
Praise and tell lies.
To be taken in.
To be cared for.
To be chosen.
To be looked at, even once.

Do they also feel smaller
for standing here and waiting,
for asking things whose void eats you up.
This void
that has a fondness, an appetite
for the ones who can’t unlearn caring.
Which becomes bigger
feasting on the silent phone,
on unifinished conversations,
on the hollow rumours, on the dirt on your name,
smeared by people
who know better
but continue to do worse.

The void for things,
that even when attained,
outgrows the want that creates it.
Is there anyone
who has got what he asked
and stopped asking for more.
Who has found himself
by asking and pleading for acceptance,
by being nice and patient,
by cutting themselves up
to fit the template
of someone else’s ever growing void.

“Closest” – Nayana Nair

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The cracking ground I kneeled on for answers
have become riverbeds where I’ll drown,
have become
the reason of my tears,
the reason of my broken voice
that travels along the lines
of the words I mutter
without knowing,
without meaning anything more
than to put my mouth into use.
I scratch the walls of the dreams I once painted
till the petals of colors cover my ground
only to reveal a the nightmare of empty hands.
I hold the petals, the chipped away paint
and feel the closest to my dream,
the closest I will ever be.

“I Hope Not” – Nayana Nair

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I stood at the bottom of the stairs,
stones climbing on each other
as my eyes touch their edges
rain dripping from the green slowly taking them down.
Soon I started to wonder as I always do,
when I see a place I have never been to.
In the days I had not known you
could you be here, where I was not.
Can the air here
remember your face as you moved through it.
I hope not.
I hope you never wander to places
I moved through, when you were not there.
I hope you never find me.
I hope no one remembers what I was.
For I am as I was.
How much would it hurt for you to know
that not even you can reduce my pain,
even with all your love.
I hope you were happier before me,
I hope you will be happier after I leave.
Just a few more days
till I think of the way to end my suffering.

“Turn the Page” – Nayana Nair

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“So much has been lost”
she said as she turned the page.
I looked at her
and then resumed my efforts of escape
as she did.
I couldn’t ask her what she meant
for this question exists
between us like a distance
that connects us.
I feared that
I could never
recount my losses to myself every night,
if I came to know hers.
I could never pity myself
if I witnessed her breaking.

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