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“New Limitations” – Nayana Nair

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I tended to all the brokenness
that now remained on your skin
after they found you at places
where they didn’t want you to be.
I hoped it was only your skin
that was red and sore.
The more silent you sat,
the more my heart worried.
As you tired to smile for me
I felt that maybe I was also a strain on you,
even me sitting here was more than what you could handle.
I felt that even if I sat here all night beside you
I would only be an obstacle in your way
to reconciling with your new limitations,
to return to what you were.

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Is it selfish of me to come to you,
look after you
only for the sake of having you as I liked you?
So that I don’t have to wonder how to walk around you
as if you were most fragile broken glass
that I didn’t want to be around,
that if I fix you somehow
things would get better.
Then we would only have to think about
where to go for brunch, what to buy, what to watch
rather than sitting here
and second-guessing our words and action.
Rather than feeling helpless and inadequate
in handling this pain
that would be easier to forget if it was not in the face
of the one we love.

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