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"Before Alphabets" – Nayana Nair

Before knowing the alphabets
of your name or mine,
I learnt to make you smile.
I pluck another flower that makes me sneeze every time
but the silly pathetic me smiles as you smile
as I crawl to you
losing balance,
losing something similar to heart,
as I dress you up in a mountain of petals I clenched too hard
hoping you would never move away from me.
How you dozed off as I made myself sick with my ambition.
How you were still sleeping as your mother took you in arms
brushing away every piece of my care.
But it is better than the days I woke up
with only the traces of my feelings, my cradle of flowers
without you in it.

"I don't want to be right anymore" – Nayana Nair

I wonder
‘me being right’
at what point of time it became synonymous
to finding out that his heart is empty-
my name washed out by the waves of the other girl.
The girl whom he swore is not his type.
“I was right”, I said as my hand trembled with anger and then fear
as I waited for the reply, for the apology, a missed call
from those whom I should not forgive.
But the way my heart is breaking
if only they would tell me that they still love me
I could have held them close to my chest
and thought of them as my family,
as the blood that I couldn’t part with.
I would have learnt to pretend
that I was born with a dagger on my back.

I was right, I understood
as I saw few more pictures not meant for my eyes.
(these days there are so many things that are not meant for my eyes),
as I try to digest the unfamiliar rage in his eyes,
as he breaks and breaks and breaks every moment we had
When I ask him “if should I stay around? if he’d change his mind?”
he tells me he doesn’t know his heart
and walks out into the night.

When I switch on the TV I almost expect to find
my name in red, my body in red
laying on the carpet that he loved
but had to ruin for a good cause, for a greater love.
This me, my death must be side effect of his love.
His love is all that matters now.
His love is not our love.
Our love is an obstacle to the happiness he can almost reach.

She calls me up again
to tell me how to gracefully give up.
I hear him behind her, I feel his despair in her voice.
(Must be true love.)
I hear him hum a song in the background,
a song that I have never heard.
I hear the ruffle of his clothes
that he moved from our life to her home
one betrayal at a time.
I hear what I don’t want to hear,
what I always knew-
they don’t want my forgiveness
even if I gave it for free,
I must mend my life by myself.
No past love will do it for me.

"Easy Girl" – Nayana Nair

in my cramped world
you find a place for yourself.

you become one with all the bright things
that i collect at the cost of breaking myself.

as you smile, i wonder
whether you have a thing for girls
who have forgotten the taste of truth.

i wish you do.
i would like to love you once,
before you learn to hate girls like me.

this room was gift from my ex
whose hobby was to be loved
by the one he wrongs.

but it is a story for another day.
my story with you is not that deep.
you don’t need to know
that my corners of my lips are ripped
from smiling while being hurt,
that they still hurt when we kiss.

it kills the mood.
it kills me a bit, to be honest.
all your words, the beautiful things
you want me to have, want me to be
they are enough
for me to love you for a while.
it is enough for me to forget
the demon i see in you.

aren’t i an easy girl?
one day you would hold that against me as well.
i fall for you knowing that.

"What I Remember (22)" – Nayana Nair

Was it 5 years ago, or 6
that we all sat together
looking at the bright beginning
of another series of setbacks
that we were becoming.
The coldness of the wood,
the ruffle of papers, the moment before
we learned to truly hate ourselves.

I miss that.

As we stood waiting in line
for something to take away
everything we were just beginning to see,
I remember thinking,
“I wish I could spend my youth here.
In this moment, with these people.
I am nothing to them, they are nothing to me.
But we are good for each other.
This can never be made again.”
At that moment I knew
they will make my heart ache
for a long time.

In the years that followed
I saw them,
the people who carried the faces
of the ones
I liked enough not to love.
“What’s wrong?” I wanted to ask them
but all I could do was smile
and let my smile tell them
“I will see you for what you were.
At least that I can do for you.
The beauty of your innocence and hope
I will remember it forever.”

"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.

“Sandstorm” – Nayana Nair

The sandstorm is just another setting
for this story to continue.
There are no trees in our desert
that could be broken.
There are only lights that learn to flicker,
there is only skin that knows what this wind carries,
there are only roads that will drown.

With half closed eyes you walk out
to search for what you have left behind.
With half closed door I wait for you to return.
I find another quote in another book
foretelling the loveless life that will continue henceforth.
Another book, another friend I must burn
for speaking the truth, for wanting my best.

I am destined to die on the night of a full moon
without a reason, without a witness,
with a piece of broken mirror becoming a new part of my body-
another prophesy that I wish you had not gifted me.

Three fairies sleep in our bed,
who do not yet know the violence of your broken heart.
I hope you get what you cry for,
I hope you forget our names,
I hope this storm saves us from every moon, every sky.
I hope this storm saves us from you.

“Used to this” – Nayana Nair

The light is not enough.

I must somehow reach the empty glasses
that hold no memories, no magic.
They won’t light up,
and all I can do is to learn to live in dark.
I need to get rid of all of them.
Sure, sitting here in the prison of you,
calling it a garden of leftover love is romantic.
Sure, learning to do everything by myself
all over again can be sort of fun,
I used to be good at that.
It is easy, it is comfortable in fact
to live with this space
that I don’t want to name after you.
I like to say “I have gotten used to this”
as if my heart is bigger than every misfortune left in your wake,
as if I really know how to forget.

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