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“Have a Good Day” – Nayana Nair

I was sat down and told repeatedly everyday
that though the world belongs to all of us,
sometimes it is better
to step back,
to only take up the space we need.
I misunderstood it to be a lesson in humility,
wanting less, and sacrifice,
but I realize now that it was not so.
I was told to stop before I anger someone,
before someone got jealous,
or before they saw the weakness of my gender.

As I stand on the balcony at midnight
and hear drunk shady men shouting, cursing, and stumbling,
as they make their way to their broken homes,
I remind myself
this is what I am supposed to fled,
a person who is allowed to loose their mind,
a person who will always have excuse to hurt.
This what everyone wanted me to become,
someone who is proficient at spotting dangers,
who can conjure up the worst possible scenarios
when they hear another’s footsteps on deserted streets,
and see the worst possible demons in the face of men.

These days I often hear people say
that the new meaning of a powerful woman is
the one who walks into misfortune willingly,
before she is stalked and defeated by it.
Is this the only alternative to what I am living?

I wish that when I walked past a stranger on streets
I could smile and wish them a good day,
without having to fear being misunderstood,
without the echoes of ‘she asked for it’ in my mind.

“Make this one mistake” – Nayana Nair

I want to love you with the sincerity that I don’t have.
I want to want you desperately, even when I am fed up with you.
I want to look at you as if you are my everything
even when I know that you are not.

The only thing that stops me
from being the love that I dreamed of being
are my own shortcomings.
I am not patient.
I am not true to my words.
I do not hold an endless sea of love in me,
if anything
you might only find misdirected anger,
petty grudges and resentment in my heart.
I am too sensitive, not in a good or sweet way,
but in an irritating intolerant way.
I am someone who wants all sweet things
but have only bitterness to give back.
In my spare time
I make list of what I lack
not to improve
but so that I have ready excuses when I need them
and I only need them with you.
I need them so I can stay selfish,
so that I can continue to be by your side
and not fall apart with shame.

I know you deserve the world
but let my greed win for once,
for this life
close your eyes on everything I do wrong.
My love may not be great or even good enough
but I love you
even when my love for you and want for you
makes me the worst person in my own eyes.
That must count for something.
Make this one mistake for my sake,
let me have you for this life.

“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.

“Muddy Eyes” – Nayana Nair

How much of the sorrow
that floats on the surface of my muddy eyes
are actually the remains from broken bonds?
How much of it
are the soaked and decomposing paper planes of love
that never made it to my heart.
I write down again
all the things I must not forget,
everything that neutralizes my mistakes,
brings them down to the scale of what others have done.
I make it through this life
by remembering only those who told me
that I worthy of love in spite of selfishness.
Conveniently erasing the moments when they were proved wrong,
erasing how I walked over their hearts
when they no longer loved me,
when they saw that I may need love
but won’t be changed by it or for it.

“Beautiful” – Nayana Nair

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You are beautiful,
because whenever you are amused, surprised,
sleepy, curious, interested or irritated,
you look like a child
who can hold my hand
and be really happy
when I offer you the cheapest candy.
And I can be the child who feels pride
because of your smile.
So even if I am gifting you
something so insignificant
as my weak heart
you wear it as if it is your shield,
even when you don’t need one.

“Removed” – Nayana Nair

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I could look at his face without the need
of looking for places to hide.
I could look at him
and be assured he will look back at me
with kindness I couldn’t have.
And this assurance, this trust
was the reason that I had to hide,
had to look away.
For what would be left of me
if all the misery and complaints
I had from life
and from myself
would be removed by his love.

“Nothing can be greater” – Nayana Nair

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The story that sleeps in me
it never talks of you or me.
I wait till it speaks,
till it sees.
I wait till I no longer have to convince myself
that “yours” is all I want to be.
But the story that repeats itself
tells me not to bother
with saying things I do not mean.
There is a sun in the sky
that is smaller than the hunger in my heart
and nothing can be greater than the my need to be seen.
and that all the eyes that fall on my lonesome drooping figure
will wander when I start to bloom, when I start to speak.
The story that sleeps in me
sings about how everyone leaves.

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