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“Evergreen” – Nayana Nair

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The nights are not that painful anymore
whatever grows in me
is evergreen.
It has no care for lack of light in this world,
no care for years filled with question marks.
Unlike me,
it has no fear to be eaten up or extinguished.
Unlike me. It is so unlike me,
that I can rely on it to keep me floating
even my hands refuse to help me live.
I used to believe that it is love,
it is hope that keeps me afloat.
But I no longer have a name for it,
since love and hope have abandoned me
and yet I float.
And yet I float.

“Hello?” – Nayana Nair

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hello?
can you help me?
can you tell me which way to go,
which part of me to burn
to reach the dumping ground
where lay all the skins
that humans have ever shed?

i have been living in my dreams
for quite some time,
where i am the old-me
surrounded by my old-family,
old-friends, old-strangers.

dreams that i can no longer have,
now that i have been led back to reality,
now that i am almost sane.
i realize i am missing the life that never was.
medicated consciousness is not enough
to make me forget
all that i should not remember.

i have heard that here i would find
the lifeless skin of mine-
the ‘me’ who never knew what lacking is.
want to join me?
never mind.
i was not looking for company anyway.
thank you for not helping,
for telling me to grow up.
thank you for making reality
more disturbing than it already is for me.

“What I Remember (11)” – Nayana Nair

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beauty may be only skin deep
but lack of it goes deeper than that.
so deep
that you end up learning to want things
that you wouldn’t otherwise even think about.
i wish i could remember every face
that was surprised to know
that i am okay with looking older than i am,
surprised that i do not want to exorcise fats
especially when i have got so much of it.
every morning i wake up
they hover over me like faceless shadows
with black markers, drawing over my body
showing me all that is wrong,
giving me tips so that i can become easy to look at,
hiding their superficiality under the wraps of concern,
whispering how thick-skinned i am when i don’t listen
and wondering what is wrong with the ones who love me.
it made me wonder
that maybe going under the knife
wouldn’t be as bad as being smeared black by markers.
that maybe i am supposed to love myself
only after the world approves of the ‘me’ that i want to love.
i would have understood if they cared,
if they actually meant good,
but they don’t
because they know nothing more than my name
and they say my name only with heart-breaking adjectives and assumptions.
i want to say they are wrong,
but i have suffered their gaze for so long
that sometimes i end up sharing their hatred of me, of what they see.
there are days that i obsess over a passing comment.
there are days i beat up myself for being like this.
i starve and fail,
i try to get over their words and fail,
i try to hate myself and fail.
i want to say it doesn’t matter
but it does
because i am tiring myself out
by trying to see something good in me,
by apologizing to myself,
by trying to save my heart
while they burn my body in the woods.

“Remaining Life” – Nayana Nair

Hand me back my fear.
Remove all signs of caution.
Anyway, I am dying slowly.
I don’t want to know more.
I don’t want to know better.
Come into my mind.
Here there is no better.
There are only picture frames that do not break
even when they have lost the images they lived for.
It is not the persisting lack in me that makes me feel hollow.
It is the life remaining in my dying organs,
all the reasons that I have for living,
my willingness to invent a reason if needed.
All the substance that hides my lacking
highlights the vacancy in me.

“What I Remember (10)” – Nayana Nair

I want to write about the boring,
about all that is insignificant,
about the trust that lasts,
about the promises that are kept,
about the things we don’t have to beg from god.

I belive there must be some things in life that goes as we wanted to,
that didn’t take our effort, our prayers to go right,
that fell into place so naturally
that we didn’t even notice the ease they gave us.
The boring that is neglected, that is mocked
must be a dream for a person I don’t know of.
The days of charity and donation,
the realization of the lack that we don’t experience
hits us only briefly,
gives us only short lived sadness or gratitude
and a bit of pride (that has a little longer life)
in ourselves for venturing out of our boredom
to witness the lacking of others,
to distribute a bit of what we have in abundance.

But I am not that changed,
I am not that affected.
Tomorrow when I wake up
I will forget
about the stomachs that are never filled,
about the dry glass and throats,
about the darkness that night brings,
about little curious eyes that will never see a book.
Tomorrow, again I will shamelessly
write about my need for love and acceptance.

But that is how I am
and with time I have learned
not to feel guilty for being like this,
for that is the kind of human I was made to be.
I will only be bothered
by the small bruise on my face,
the small cuts on my hand,
even if I know the existence of greater pain,
for that knowledge is not an anesthetic .
I am a petty creature like that
and I can only really feel my own loss.

“Make this one mistake” – Nayana Nair

I want to love you with the sincerity that I don’t have.
I want to want you desperately, even when I am fed up with you.
I want to look at you as if you are my everything
even when I know that you are not.

The only thing that stops me
from being the love that I dreamed of being
are my own shortcomings.
I am not patient.
I am not true to my words.
I do not hold an endless sea of love in me,
if anything
you might only find misdirected anger,
petty grudges and resentment in my heart.
I am too sensitive, not in a good or sweet way,
but in an irritating intolerant way.
I am someone who wants all sweet things
but have only bitterness to give back.
In my spare time
I make list of what I lack
not to improve
but so that I have ready excuses when I need them
and I only need them with you.
I need them so I can stay selfish,
so that I can continue to be by your side
and not fall apart with shame.

I know you deserve the world
but let my greed win for once,
for this life
close your eyes on everything I do wrong.
My love may not be great or even good enough
but I love you
even when my love for you and want for you
makes me the worst person in my own eyes.
That must count for something.
Make this one mistake for my sake,
let me have you for this life.

“Fine and Minute” – Nayana Nair

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I thought I am getting better
when I found a little more space in me for life
than what I thought I had.
When I stopped trying to hide it from my own eyes
and let small birds perch on its rusted edges
all long as they please.
But when they fly away, their voices
slowly disappears and reappears
disperses and dissolves in the air,
reminding me of days I existed
in pieces so fine and minute
that
I found myself
lacking voice, wants, or ambition.
Slowly becoming the air and food for
someone else’s need.
I find that the pain never passes.
It only forgets itself until it touches
the edges that once cut through it.
But not everything it touches has that same edge
and between the sudden encounters
with the lookalikes of what I was,
I can rest, I can breathe.

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