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“Assignment” – Nayana Nair

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There was that pile of paper
I could
never keep safe.
The crossed out, always crossed out words,
words always out of order,
words turned beautiful
only because they dissolved
in my frustration.
Only because now I cannot read them
without effort.
I must make something out of them
something that couldn’t possibly be mine.

The blue ink dripping,
forming planets on unexpected letters,
forming planets on my hands.
I would take them to class
and look at them as if now I meant something more,
now that I was suffering for something I want.

I raised my hands to answer a question
I have already answered hundred times.
I sat down and swallowed my teacher’s frown.
He didn’t have to teach me
that right answers matter
only when they come from right mouths.
(I once got an A only because I forgot to put my name.)
I knew there was nothing I could learn
by swallowing frowns everyday,
but still I dragged myself, my broken planets,
my half burnt poems in my half burnt hands
to the one who doesn’t think twice
before asking me

to hate myself better.

“Portals” – Nayana Nair

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the wafer breaks and crumbles
my teeth find a red muscle to kill
again my mouth bleeds
but no iron strikes my taste
so i wait for it
i wait for my imagined pain
to become real

i look at my hands
my unsightly weak hands
they are portals to my past self
how they weighed its emptiness even when they held you
how i knew that you won’t last, we won’t last
and i hated myself for knowing it

i wonder if my skin, my lips
gave you a premonition similar to that
did you know that we would end up sharing every hurt
and that it would never stop
that the we would continue to run even when the dream
ends
every cut mine, every drop of red yours
everything painful – only ours

“Dissociate” – Nayana Nair

my other head
bleeds and falls off
as does my bloody knife

i can no longer call myself a victim of life
now that my sin is set in stone

few more hours for the sun to rise
few more hours i must bear the company of my face
in few more hours the world will love me
now that i look like them and kill like them
they will surely love me
for having one less brain and one less mouth

my eyes look back at me
not accusingly but with pity
of what have i done to myself
but i dare not cry
and act as if i am the one being wronged
my tears- i’ll be burying them under the red petunias
that you loved

my hearts beats furiously
as if running towards something, perhaps an end
end of me? end of her?
it feels wrong saying “her”, “you”
as if a knife is all it takes to set things conveniently wrong

i close the door and leave my open mouth
and questioning eyes on the kitchen table
i break a nail and break my heart
as i dig two graves for myself

“The Noise of Empty Heart” – Nayana Nair

I close your heart.
I stitch you back
in a same haphazard way
I do almost everything in life.
The same way I knocked down
every clumsy fragile landmark
that could have actually helped me at the end.

From your mouth I have come to know
that my hopes are tied to the throats of my saviors.
That you are disgusted as you see me
sitting on top of sleepless nights
as I help myself with another serving of self-pity
that I won’t be able to digest.
That I laugh a little too long at the every joke
that the world plays on repeat,
all the while the cruel thread that I am
I cut the skin, I cut the voice, I cut the air.

“this what i am, change me in an easy way, see this is how i am hurting, why won’t you look at me when you said you wanted was the real me”

I say as I try to crawl back into the hide of your love.

“i will stitch you back, if i have hurt you. if you want to hear goodbye, i will say it a thousand times. please, please stop crying. please for once hesitate before you ask for the door out. ask for once if it was easy to take in your sorrows, your demons, your cold shoulder. ask for once how i have fared, how i have come this far, how am i letting you go, letting you be, after loving you so badly. “

“a proper life” – Nayana Nair

the metal melts on my tongue.
this must be the fever that everyone warned me against.
now i will never know how to die properly.

i used up every drop i could find on this planet
to make the broken trees in me grow.
and there are so many,
so many skeletons with stunted growth.

i read we need not only the sun, but also the leaves, the green
to make something that can fill our stomach.
that light by itself can only gift hope .
how long can one live on hope?
just long enough to hate everyone
who has a piece fleshy fruit stuck in their teeth.

the only way to live properly i am told
is to become the the tailcoat of someone better than me.
i must make someone’s life easy,
must become a photocopy machine for their blood,
must cry silently into the sink as i clean the dishes at night
to live a proper life.

but it is too late i guess,
i have lost the plan i was told to follow obediently,
the only color that remains on my skin are the ones i was born with,
the unflattering shape of my body
won’t be bought with the coins of love in any shop,
my finger, my unshapely hands have become un-holdable.

the adjectives, the rumors, the sad future of mine
they falls like pieces of metal on my ears everyday
and yet they are not the words i can say, or accept.
these word, this metal melts in my mouth
they say i will die a sad death,
that i will die as i have lived – by myself.

“Surely, I will love you” – Nayana Nair

The memories I burnt away
have turned into spirits, into thoughts
that hold me back from naming and keeping this happiness
that sits at my doorstep, waiting for my love.
And though the shadows of my past are tied to my legs,
though they rattle on empty roads
and never let the the dust of my life settle.
But ‘it is not so bad’ is also a sentence
that I have learnt to say with ease
and I sometimes even mean those words as they leave my mouth.
For there is a doorstep where a heart like yours
waits for me to heal, your wait makes the plant of trust
grow in my heart again.
Every morning I find myself, my lips
a bit closer to the the words
that only you deserve to hear.

“Red Sonnets” – Nayana Nair

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red sonnets.
every morning,
you always gift me red sonnets.
and i always kiss you back,
the color of my lips fading
in front of acts of affection.

i put them on my bed
as i sleep on the floor.
i stir my soaking noodles
with a branch broken
from this bunch.
i bite the sides of my mouth
make myself cry a little bit more.

“incoherent” – Nayana Nair

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i looked best dressed in incoherent words.
everyone assumed that i am drunk on something.
everyone assumed me to be an artist for that.

any word that left my mouth
was just another way to pronounce self-doubt.
the only way to stay and run away at the same time.

the way i speak,
“you are beautiful” and “i hate you”
sounds the same.
the way i speak
“i want to die” sounds same as “i love you”.
my name sounds same as any other name.

what is the use of having this name
that no one calls.
so i sign the heart of my temporary admirer
with “tear”, “snow”, “goodbye”, “sleep”….
with other sad beautiful words
that cause less hurt than my name.

“Craft” – Nayana Nair

the broken stories that you lived on
were never actually broken.
these stories are not pieces of a whole,
but a whole that is meant to look like a piece.
they are made so.
they are crafted to be faulty, to look like us,
to look like the things we want to be but aren’t.
so that it can fit into our heart,
so that we can nibble on it
with our tiny dry mouth
that has given up on food, love, and life.

“December Moon” – Nayana Nair

I could no longer taste
the nameless fruit
that I held in my hand,
that I hid in my mouth a moment ago.
I fled from one home to another.
I sewed my heart to another
even when it pained.
I tried to find myself back,
pry out my heart from the cage of love
even when I was happy.
I wanted to miss someone.
I wanted to call out a name,
so that my life may not feel empty.
Since I had many names on my lips,
I came to know that the emptiness of my life
came not from the lack of people I loved
but by the lack of people who treasured me back.
So I let the fruit fall to ground.
I let my hunger gnaw at the my own skin.
I forced myself to think of myself,
by hurting myself,
by asking myself to forget.

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