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“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.

“Surrounded by Chatter” – Nayana Nair

love-yourself

With marker I scribble on the mirror
the list of complains I have from you,
not caring if they mess up my own reflection.
Sometimes thankful that under that I can hide my own
obsession with what people will think of me,
how much will they value based on the value you give me.
An obsession I cannot really admit I have.
After all I am supposed to just ask for what I want
and not what everyone tells me I should want and I should have.
But are my wants really immune from the template of dreams
that world sets apart for people like us.

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When I sit surrounded by chatter
I remember how I had to seal my lips,
had to come up with stories more acceptable than
the vague transitions of my life and my heart
from one state to another.
Even if I put on songs of love and think of you
I am just presented with all that I am waiting to receive from you.
(Does that make me greedy or calculating?)
But somehow I always bring myself around to the life I must live
that would be easy to live
if I didn’t compare myself to others,
if it was easy to turn your back to the the judging eyes
especially the one being judged is not only you
but also the object of your affection.

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