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“As Little as Possible” – Nayana Nair

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the broken have found love again.

again they will forget all
that they promised they would never forget.

they talk of hobbies, talk of news,
talk of things that are easy to agree upon.
they talk about breaking down walls at lunch
and stay awake at night
getting rid of every part of themselves
that could spoil this love.

they tell themselves that this time
they will want less, expect lesser,
and love as little as possible
they try to love with their masks on
hoping that it would be easier,
but knowing all the while that it won’t be.

“Moments with a Cold Sun” – Nayana Nair

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With each day crossed out.
With each dresses, each mask added to the my wardrobe.
With each hand that passed into mine,
with each hand that moved onto the next too easily,
I realized I knew how to dance to this tune
that used to frighten me once.

Another stranger,
another potential lover,
another sun that has already grown cold,
whispers in my ears – words I do understand.

I search for a harmless smile in my bag.
I hang it carefully on my face.
I turn myself into a gift,
into a substitute of love
for this person –
who is dying like me,
waiting like me,
for something, anything
to fill the time left.

“Is anything left of my mask? ” – Nayana Nair

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in not so many words,
but maybe just really few.
can you tell me what you see?
when i am waiting for my turn,
when i am suspiciously silent,
when i am creating another corner
in this round room to sit, to sink into,
when i say no and get hated upon,
when i am walking away, always walking away.

can you tell me
what i look like?
is it obvious in my face,
how i miss what i am giving up?
how i feel removed from this life?
when i smile is it convincing?
or all you feel is pity?
i want to drop this act
if you already see the ruin that grows in me.

“Dripping Doubts” – Nayana Nair

This loud and constant dripping of doubts
is this all I need to mute, to mask,
the voices of people who have known me too less,
who have loved me more than they needed to.

. . .

I am filled with fear, tempted to run away
when they make sacrifices for my happiness,
to stay by my side.
I know what I feel should be love,
but all I feel is burden-
a knife
that pierces my skin and feelings
testing how thick is my concern,
seeing how far it can go
before it finds the cold bone hidden in me.
I bleed to little
and give up too soon.
It all ends before it even begins.
This all was a bad idea to begin with.

“Work Hard” – Nayana Nair

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We could never see each other properly
because we busy working hard,
trying day and night
to become something the other wants.
Or at least something that can’t be rejected on face
or fall short of this friendship
that we could never be sure of.
We worked equally hard
to ignore when we saw a crack in each other’s mask,
to ignore the words spoken out of character.
Somewhere we were too hollow, too materialistic, too demanding.
And we knew it was wrong.
We knew we had no right to demand.
We knew we were cruel and we knew we would be forgiven.
If not now, then someday.
Is it possible to love someone in spite of being so wrong?
Is it possible to use such pure words for a transaction gone wrong?

“Loose Words” – Nayana Nair

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The words once written with passion

once written with anger,

sometimes filled with sweet drops of sadness

and sometimes with happiness that

made cracks in our masks.

All those words have broken down

have become loose and weak.

Those words are not our love.

Those words are our lives.

Our love is the ruled lines on paper

on which rested our broken lives,

on which rested our tested faith.

 

Tailoring Myself

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I was running from myself, trying to be someone different for each person of importance in my life, tailoring myself to their needs, choosing personas to inhabit and abandon, wearing masks that only obscured my own desires and the gravity of my choices. I was code-switching for the hell of it, without much purpose but with plenty of precision.

-Brandon Harris, “The lies we tell ourselves about gentrification

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