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“All the boxes are checked” – Nayana Nair

It hurts a bit more naturally
and less violently,
now that betrayal has a range,
has not one but many faces.
Now I need not figure what I did wrong.

All the boxes are checked:

family, family, friends, not friends,
thank-god-we-were-never-friends friends,
i-am-sad-i-stood-up-for-you friends,
people who marked my skin with their name
to own me
while i slept in their arms
(another golden cup added to collection of people hard to get,
people who won’t die if thrown away or left alone)
loves whom i am tied to,
the ones who demand smile and sometimes a bit more,
always a bit more.

They know the feel of my hand and love how it heals.
They hold my hand in their sleep
in their nightmares, in the storms of passion
that they need a person to aim at.
They break my wrist
in my nighmares, in my awareness of my fruitless love.
When I am at verge of crying,
they tell me to not give them a hard time
and to act like the refuge that I am supposed to be.

So I tell them “I love you”
and this lie hurts a little less everyday
as my heart becomes the stone pedestal
all my loves stand on.

“Our Game” – Nayana Nair

if i could understand you somehow
i am sure my feelings would make sense

something in you is at odds with you
something in you makes me hate you

but as you pretend that you are stronger than your monster
i pretend that my love is bigger than any wrong that you can do to me

that’s our game
that’s our love

i pretend even when i hold you through your nightmares
i pretend even when i realize i am weaker than my love

for when you take my name in between the storm of your sobs
i realize i can keep walking to you

through my own breakdown
through everything

i can keep walking towards you
as long as you take my name

“For you to disappear”- Nayana Nair

When the wind blows
there are no branches to shake,
no windows to rattle,
no forgotten clothes to be abducted from my backyard,
no ghost songs to invite me to new nightmares.
Only your imagined face,
that looks nothing like you these days,
in these lifeless eyes
keeps flickering.
Making you almost real,
making me wonder
what is the distance in time
that I must travel,
how much should I age,
how much should my mind wither,
for you to disappear?
How many sins I should commit
so that my hands are not stained
only by your tears.

“Only Me” – Nayana Nair

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Stay here with me.
Everyone else has forgotten you dear.
Only me,
it is only me that carries you everywhere it rains,
everywhere the Sunday morning starts with empty table and aching heart,
everywhere the number blinking in my phone is not yours.
It’s only me
that wakes up in this nightmare of life
clutching what should have been your hand,
that walks into every shops that would have caught your eye.
It isn’t easy to walk into stores
and think of your absent giggles
as my only future that would never arrive.
It isn’t easy
but I can do it.
I can keep a space for you
everywhere I go,
I can keep aside an extra plate for you.
I can live as if you are here
if only you’d stay hidden with me.
They have forgotten you dear,
their thoughts are scared to linger around graves.
It is only me that calls out your name.

“Crack in my mind” – Nayana Nair

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I couldn’t look into the eyes of the people I knew all my life
or even people who never knew me.
Every morning I woke up
I felt I have left a part of me in the nightmare
of the last the day.
I was afraid that with every hello that I said
I will leave open a crack in my mind
for people to look into.
That all that I had written on paper
is printed on my skin.
I was afraid that if people knew of my condition
I would not have enough energy or excuses
to refute their point
if they put their suspicions in words.
I was afraid of lot of things
for a long time
and most of it was to be seen in a way
that I didn’t want to be seen.

“Unsettling” – Nayana Nair

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One day I was watching TV
or I thought I was
until it seemed that
the boy whose silence alone was unsettling to many,
the loud girl who dreams of becoming the nightmare she suffers,
even the clueless proud parent who try hard to be cool
were all angry, everyone was shouting
not at each other but at me,
for missing my cue to act,
for leaving it to others to sort my life.
I hate these times
when even entertainment
has to be so painfully self-reflective.
Or maybe it always was.

“Ones Who Broke Us” – Nayana Nair

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The fear that leaves our heart,
at some point,
does it make its way back to us?
Does it still look like our nightmare when it returns?
Do we still look away when it moves closer to us?
Do we close our eyes again on the horrid memories,
the alienation and the helplessness?
And let it erase all the instructions
of avoidance, of the hints of bitterness that must be remembered
for us to live well and choose better,
and all such advices we had written on our heart
on the gravestone of the memories that refused to stay still,
that refused to be silent
till we felt it’s last breath pass into the same pillows
we buried our complains.
Do we let ourselves believe in goodness of hearts ,
in the excuses of the ones who broke us?
I hope not.

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