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“Don’t tell me” – Nayana Nair

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Unlike your descriptions,
the green doesn’t wait for the sun.
It doesn’t know what waiting is,
what the word ‘sun’ is, it doesn’t even know
that you are the its spokesperson.

I am not coming at your throat dear,
it’s just that
I feel, as time passes
that you see me more as that green
than your woman.

You cut my sentences
and give me used bottles of perfumes, of love
that I must wear.
The only thing you tell me about your day
is how women dote on you
and place you first in the list of men to seduce.

I remember I once said,
“please don’t tell me, i don’t want to know”
and you glared back,
lectured me on openness and honesty and strength of love.

“i don’t want to know”
I said it only once,
because my I was afraid to say it ever again.
And in my unreasonable fear, I understood
that in this life of pretend, I had also begun
to see you as another sun,
even when you are not.

So, I am not coming at your throat dear.
I am try to free myself from your hold,
from your twisted idea of love,
that is messing with my mind now.
I am someone without you as well,
and I don’t want to be convinced that I am not.

“could-have-beens” – Nayana Nair

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when saw my skin, i saw only cracks
cracks that would have looked worse
if i could see better.
i wanted to look away
but all i could do was think-
age is creeping up on me
slowly and cruelly
and you are not here.

i think of all the things
i can never have now.
things i meant to do everyday
things i put off, delayed
because you needed time.
all the things i denied myself
because i wanted to wait for you.

but the weight of things i have given up
seems to have increased exponentially
since you learnt to change your mind.

so me and my could-have-beens
we sit at different tables in the same world,
looking at each other with disappointment.
how ridiculous is this
that i am waiting,
even when there is no one to wait for,
even when i know that running away
was the only thing you could be relied upon for.

“Tiptoe” – Nayana Nair

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the ones we sign our valentine cards to,
the ones we tie ourselves to for life
wait for us to die (or some form of death) to become free.
their heart is full of love – only not for us.

they tiptoe at night to bury their crimes
and demand honesty only when it suits
what they have in their mind.

so even when we ask,
“why did you break me like this
when I loved you so?”

they say, “there are no proofs in stories like these,
where everyone claims to be wronged.
there are no daggers, only words,
which are conveniently easy to forget
or edit if enough years pass.
anyway no one remembers that well,
one can always hear things wrong.”

so we go back to sleep,
get fine with living blind.
tell our self it is fine
as long as we are together,
when “together” is not what we want.

“It is fine if you don’t understand” – Nayana Nair

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Being here
and seeing,
allowing this world
to enter your mind
is an isolating experience.

Only I can know
how something enters my mind,
how my mind cannot make sense of it,
how I close my eyes to new light,
how I give up
and let this experience take over me.

We can look at a flower together.
But only I can know
what it means
to look at this flower as me.

I can show you my playlist,
I can tell you the quotes that stay with me,
I can even give you my heart.
But at the end
all I see,
all I feel
can be only felt by me.

“Letters from my lover” – Nayana Nair

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what is the use of loving you
if you won’t speak less and be less for the sake of my ego,
if you don’t have the proportions or face to brag about,
if you won’t sleep with me,
if you have “anxiety attacks” just when i am having fun
(it is embarrassing, grow up)
if my mom won’t like you,
if you can’t give me the kids that i want,
if a career, a dream is still on your mind,
if you still want friends when you already have me,
if you want to write the stupid poems that make me look bad,
if you won’t consider me your god,
if you continue to live for yourself.

so dear, work hard.
work hard
or you will become useless to me.
there is only so much that i can tolerate for this love of yours.

“Stack of Books from Strangers” – Nayana Nair

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Now everything tastes like my oft-repeated past.
This bitter turn of events
has brought new meaning to my pain that I didn’t ask for.
This morning I even look like someone who needs help.

I guess I may have looked that way for a long time
in everyone’s eyes but mine.
In my eyes, I was doing better,
good enough to be not noticed and singled out.

I smiled enough to keep people from seeing
all the mess I carried in me.
But lately, strangers hand me books
to keep my sad mind busy.

Books that tell me
that it is not too late, that one at a time
I can make something out of the soil that won’t leave my skin,
the soil that I am buried under.

I want to believe in this nonsense more than anyone can imagine.
But my heart is not the same now
as it was years ago.
It no longer believes the words that feel good and hurt later.

“I have nothing of you” – Nayana Nair

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I walked into troubles, into fogged minds,
into friend circles that cultivated their alter egos
on every meager piece of earth
that they otherwise couldn’t plant their feet upon.

I walked into crumbling cities, into impossible dreams,
into the lifeless replicas of your heart-
hoping you would come after me.
But as time ate me up
I just hoped that you’d remember name at the least.

I wish that you had stepped a little closer to me,
given me false hope, and broken my heart.
but I have nothing of you,
nothing to hate you for,
nothing to remember your love by,
except the empty place I made for you to stay in me
– the only part of me that makes living difficult for me.

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