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“Audience” – Nayana Nair

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the most beautiful
bitter bits
of this world
belong to me now.

a car rushes by far away
and i wonder about
the girl crying her eyes out
on the table not far from mine,
or the middle-aged man looking lost
in front of his home in my window,
or the woman who left her phone and purse
on her table on purpose
and turned back at the door to look at something
i couldn’t see.

i wonder if they feel the same as me,
if i would ever feel anything brand new,
if i would ever have a feeling
not felt by anyone in this world.
even when i know how ordinary
my extra-ordinary pain is, why does it feel so deep,
why do i struggle to walk on these crowded roads
why can’t i wear my sadness, my tears on my eyes
and let this world be the audience for once.

“Someone is waiting for me” – Nayana Nair

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Fog swims over my study table.
The glasses grow cold and old
and useless.
Again I forget to drink the medicine,
the milk, the love that fills my phone.
Like I forgot to get vaccinated,
to close the door, to wear something warm
even after being reminded
how easy it is to die.
Someone is waiting for me
to say the words I do not mean.
But they love me
so I try not to hate them for that.
I sink back into my chair.
I sink somewhere in the fog.
I try not to struggle too much.
I try to live with all my heart
but it is so difficult.
So difficult
to accept, ingest anything.
So difficult
to forget that I am drowning.

“Folds” – Nayana Nair

You are gone
and I try to hold the spoon like you used to.
I chew my food with my left molars as you did.
The ghosts that I have wronged, that I have forgotten
now include half of my teeth, teeth you would have never used.

You are gone
and you are happy (probably).
So I memorize name and phone number
of your every friend,
I recall the fondness you had for them.
I wear your feelings when I meet them,
I wear your feelings even when they won’t fit me.
I wonder if they noticed how I was spilling at some places,
how I was non existent in other folds-
folds that used to hold you so well.

You are gone
and I am gone (or that’s what I think).
I am my work, I am my songs,
I am the adjectives you made for me,
I am the report cards, I am the dust that settles on it,
I am the afternoon TV shows, I am the language I don’t understand.
I am what I am fond of.
I am mostly just you.

You are gone
and I fear
there is no one that can
stop me from growing
into you.

“please leave” – Nayana Nair

please leave.
i am so fed up of this love
that only exists in my head.
my heart is a glacier, my skin a floodplain
and yet
i speak of home and family
as if i am filled with warmth till my brim.
what do i know of love?
what do i know of love, to hold you back?
we have held hands long enough,
it is okay to let go now.
how long are you going to nod along?
your phone has been ringing for an eternity,
it is okay to say the goodbye
that you have been swallowing for my sake.
don’t start loving me
for putting your freedom back on your plate.
i just don’t want to see you
die like this because of me.
i am fed up people giving up on themselves
to love someone like me.
so, please leave.

“All your cold dark songs” – Nayana Nair

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as i get inside the crowded bus,
a phone rings.
a ringtone just like yours.

has the world shrunk to the size
of the tragedy we created,
that i find you like this?

i know it is not you,
but it could be.
so i do not turn back.
it could be you,
so i try not to cry.

this is not where
walking away or breaking clean
should lead to.
at least not back to you.
at least not like this.
not on the day i finally felt
that i could move toward a new happiness.

why did you come back?
to tell me how i am not worthy of anything good?
to tell me no one can love something like me?
to tell me how thinking is unhealthy for love like ours?
to check if my skin remembers your anger?
to tell me to speak softly, to submit to your wishes
if i wish to be forgiven for your mistakes?

why did you come back,
when you don’t even want me?

“What I Remember (13)” – Nayana Nair

i did all that i must do
and now no one asks me what’s next.
thankfully,
no one burdens me with with their dreams anymore.
i am no longer a possible candidate for the worst,
for taking over the misfortune of my mother’s life.
i no longer have to worry about hurting my parents by
being like them or living like them.
thankfully,
what bothers me, what eats me up
is nothing that would keep anyone else awake
and that is important.

in spite of this emptiness i write about
and this loneliness that seems bigger than this world,
all this do not stop me
from laughing at jokes, craving for food that i shouldn’t eat,
dreaming of another broken love with my only lover,
from having a good time – that i will conveniently forget.
nothing i cry about, no ailing that lives in me
is too large to stop me from living.

i guess i carry an instability in my genes.
if my eyes are in the color of sadness,
i guess i got it from my parents.
and they are lovely people who somehow raised me right
in spite of having a tendency to mess up things
and their sadness with life.

tomorrow i will probably hate them frequently again
but they will nag at me when i reach home drenched in rain,
will tell me sit straight and force me to eat what will keep me alive,
will ask me to keep my phone down,
and sleep a little bit more.

they will not ask what’s wrong and that will disappoint me,
but they will let me do what i want to do (sometimes)
and they will try their best not to wrong me.
they will wish for my happiness,
even if they have no idea what makes me happy
and that is important.

because though i lived my extended teenage
believing that i had no one,
but it was not true.
i saw no one
and it is my fault.
even when i thought i was not loved
they have loved me silently.
though it was a tiring love,
it knew no end.

“Last Everything” – Nayana Nair

There are bouts of tears,
phone calls,
consolation, advice,
and it ends.

The river stops
and flows again.

There are missed calls, busy tone,
letters never penned,
the sky
that didn’t shatter like glass.

The river stops
and flows again.

There is me,
there is you,
there are our days together
and the days we will never have.

Nothing ends
even if I break.
The river stops
and flows again,
even if I lose
my last breath,
my last love to it.

“Hint” – Nayana Nair

Once I could call you,
call your name
without reason ,
without the anxiousness
that now haunts me
when the phone keeps ringing
or when you stay silent
as you wait for me to take the hint.

-oOo-

I am afraid of bringing up my own name in front of you.
I am afraid to talk about your absence.
I am afraid to hold your hand.
I am afraid of saying ‘I love you’ first.

-oOo-

I keep hoping
that you must have reasons
that have clouded your eyes
and numbed your feelings,
that you are looking
for a way to keep us together.
I keep hoping
even when I shouldn’t.

“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.

“Buses I Miss” – Nayana Nair

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Going back home is always difficult.
Everything stands in my way-
the weather, the traffic,
the buses I miss by seconds,
the roads under repair,
the detours I must take,
phone calls and thoughts
that come at inopportune time,
my heart, and you.
For as long as you are not where I am going,
as long as you are not home,
I will only have places to sleep or suffer.
Or a place to write about you.
So if my steps halt and my heart slows
when we part for the day,
keep me with you for a second more
for I have nowhere to go.

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