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"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.

“some sort of attachment, if not love” – Nayana Nair

A new announcer has replaced the old one.
The one with the shrill voice
is too tired or too sad to continue, I guess.
This new one, she sounds more like my type.
She seems like the one who will define my types.
I am so thankful she is not the one who tells me to go back to sleep
when I am crying at 3 without knowing why.
So thankful that this deserted night, this cold concrete,
her cold instructions, her reminder to wait patiently
reminds me that this is also a day I will forget
if I do not do anything.
I am so thankful that I cannot confess my laughable weakness to her.
If I wait as she tells me to
my life will come swooping in and take me somewhere else-
a new place where I will hate everyone again
for not speaking the way I like, for loving me wrong,
for not accompanying me on the empty train stations
when I try to run away from all that I have built,
from all that I have tried to call my new beginning.

“I always fall behind” – Nayana Nair

All the lights that were meant to light the way,
end up looking like spotlights fragmenting the world.
Fragments so beautiful
that I never bothered with moving
towards the place I was meant to go;
that I sit here, saying goodbye to people
who hope to see me wherever they will end up at.

But we won’t be seeing each other.
I let them hope anyway.
That hope makes them smile brighter.
that’s the way I want to remember them,
that’s the way I want to remember this world.

It is not easy though – to love all who love to keep walking
and to love my small place and my small heart
at the same time.
It is easier for everyone – for the one who must stay
and the one who must walk
to think of empty hands as freedom
however hollow it might feel.

“Even if you don’t want me back” – Nayana Nair

From the corner of my eye
I see you smile,
I see it fade.
I see you fade.

From the corner of my eye
falls a tear,
as I run into my mistakes,
run into my cruel words,
as I try to find you,
in this place where you once lead me by my hand.

In every space, in every memory,
in every version of our past
where you promised
you would always stay even if we part.
You look a bit more tired.
I look a bit more impatient.
This is not the reality I lived.
This is not the love I had.

Tell me,
even if it changes nothing,
tell me
that I once had your heart,
that there are moments you want to return to
even when you don’t want me back.

“About Voices, Miracles, and Consolations” – Nayana Nair

I can’t leave cause I am broken.
No one would take me now.
No one should have to make do
with someone left behind.

But its your voice that says all this.
Your voice is stronger than mine.
Yours is the only voice that I have.

The hope of a miraculous understanding
has so far proven to be my weakness,
a word that makes me give up and resign far too easily.
Do what you want. I have no choice but to love you.
Or else I might end up hate myself as well.

That’s what the hope of understanding makes me say.

I have been hearing voices
speaking of everything that is true.
I have been seeing the places we’ll end up
even if we continue.
Every medicine, ever distraction brings me guilt
of looking away from you.
So the easiest way to live with you
is to console myself.
I console myself everyday
with the message of imperfect love,
with the sight of imperfect you.

“Eavesdrop” – Nayana Nair

From my empty room,
from the edge of my personal cliff,
I looked into the windows of strangers,
looked over their shoulder at texts they write,
looked at the pages where their bookmark rests,
silently waited at the edge of my chair
trying to overhear responses to the big questions.

And all I have known by prying so hard
is that there is nothing there.
Nothing in the text that could pass for shorthand.
The same book rests on the same table for years,
serving only the role of a carefully thought out accessory.
No question is big enough to be carefully considered.
No relationship is important enough to be held to heart.
That I was foolish to believe otherwise till now.
That I am putting myself on another path to heartbreak
if I do not believe in the night that I see.
I must unlearn the way I have lived
to find a place to belong.

In between the cold beginning and cruel ends
that are the parentheses of our lives,
there is nothing for me to hang on to.
But it helps to know
that there are plenty of empty rooms in this painful smaller eternity,
that I need not kill myself over an emptiness so common.
And it is really difficult to feel alone once I know that.

“how storms fade” – Nayana Nair

twenty-six steps away from the cold end,
we stand together as if we are both looking
at a foe we must defeat together.
a child passes us by with a yellow balloon.
how misplaced it seems, this child
in this place made of storms.

this is something i don’t want to do.
our steps will fade into the deep end of this lake
while the mother in me would summon the face of this child
as a hope of what i could have had
if I could endure a little bit more.

an invisible small hand curls around my fingers
as your voice falters and you mess up our last song.
the ghost of your future, whatever face they may have, have also arrived.
so i put back the sweater on
and you check the calls you must return
as the ones who intend to live on only do.

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