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“maintain my world” – Nayana Nair

and this sad premise is not a commentary
on how rotten the world is
but an observation
that we have a pattern that is hard to break.

that people often misinterpret the habit of one thing
as a proof of its superiority over everything else in world.

that words can move your heart,
sometimes for worse.
it can move you towards hatred, towards fear
towards anger that is not your own.

that the wish to be right
makes us forget how to wear someone else’s shoes
or their color or their nationality or their body.
a body that is no longer their own – now that
they are just a sack of blood, a sacrifice
to please our personal gods – our thirst of power
and the “better world” that no one else wants.

this sad premise is not a commentary
on how rotten the world is
for i do not have the courage to write the worst
or to imagine how i am right now walking
over faceless nameless beings to maintain my world
just like you.

“Inversion” – Nayana Nair

When I stand near you,
I want to believe that we are standing together.
That our hearts being mirror images
means something more.
Mirror images…
‘Lateral inversion’ they called it, I recall.
We feel similar only when facing each other.
But when we talk of this world,
when we eat from our own broken plates,
when we tell each others directions,
when we see each other from afar
we are nothing but strangers.
We are nothing but proofs against each other’s belief.
But still I want to believe
that there is something I cannot see,
some argument in favor of “us”.
I want to believe you are my medicine
even as my skin cuts and bleeds in your embrace.

“Tiptoe” – Nayana Nair

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the ones we sign our valentine cards to,
the ones we tie ourselves to for life
wait for us to die (or some form of death) to become free.
their heart is full of love – only not for us.

they tiptoe at night to bury their crimes
and demand honesty only when it suits
what they have in their mind.

so even when we ask,
“why did you break me like this
when I loved you so?”

they say, “there are no proofs in stories like these,
where everyone claims to be wronged.
there are no daggers, only words,
which are conveniently easy to forget
or edit if enough years pass.
anyway no one remembers that well,
one can always hear things wrong.”

so we go back to sleep,
get fine with living blind.
tell our self it is fine
as long as we are together,
when “together” is not what we want.

“Letters from my lover” – Nayana Nair

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what is the use of loving you
if you won’t speak less and be less for the sake of my ego,
if you don’t have the proportions or face to brag about,
if you won’t sleep with me,
if you have “anxiety attacks” just when i am having fun
(it is embarrassing, grow up)
if my mom won’t like you,
if you can’t give me the kids that i want,
if a career, a dream is still on your mind,
if you still want friends when you already have me,
if you want to write the stupid poems that make me look bad,
if you won’t consider me your god,
if you continue to live for yourself.

so dear, work hard.
work hard
or you will become useless to me.
there is only so much that i can tolerate for this love of yours.

“Before I Forget You”- Nayana Nair

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I wanted to write something about you,
before I start forgetting-
who you were,
who i was with you,
how we lived,
and how we learned how to not live,
how we felt the extremes of helplessness,
with each other.

But I do not want to be the only voice actor
in this otherwise silent movie.
I could never read your lips.
I never moved mine.
But it should have been enough.
You convinced me that I would be enough for you.

But as I suspected you knew too little of yourself.
As I knew, my love also had limitations.
We hated what we saw in each other.
So you covered your eyes with anger,
I covered mine with fear.
And all we did for years is to sing to each other
about the loneliness that we had gifted each other.

If only we could give up on ourselves earlier,
we may not have suffered so bad,
we might not have hated each other so much.

I wish what we had was something shallow.
But it was not, our wounds are proof of that.

Lets just say that we would live on just fine
and try to believe in that as long as we can.

“Aftermath” – Nayana Nair

Like me, probably many have tried their best
to set their limits,
have learned how to stop before learning how to move.
We recite story of forgiveness,
of patience, of eternal undying love
to our children at night.
and when they fall asleep
we recite these stories to ourselves,
so that we may not forget them.
I remember all the proofs, every news that told me
how wanting more, wanting somewhere’s share of happiness,
wanting too much- can result in catastrophes.
that is how I learnt that some wants can destroy lives,
can create demons out of people.
The one who wrongs and the one who is wronged
just move around this world
trying outrun the aftermath of careless actions.

“Laughing it off” – Nayana Nair

I jokingly said that I would hate it
to be someone else-
someone who would have to suffer me.
But before my face realizes what my heart meant,
where it becomes apparent in my eyes
that I am nowhere near recovery,
before I panic at being taken seriously,
someone cuts me off
with laughter,
with agreement,
with proofs supporting my observation,
with a list of my faults I may have missed,
with an funny anecdote about
about the time I was too broken to think straight.

-x-

I wish I had not broken into laughter when I put myself down.
I wish ‘laughing it away’ was a trick that worked in my life.
I was never mistaken that ‘tricks’
changes reality, builds back and heals
all that is in pieces and all that is in pain.
It’s just a way to turn blind to what I cannot change.
But walking blind is worse than I had thought.
I keep colliding with harmless words, bruise myself,
and recoil back in the fear of what I may find
if I took a step forward.

“Stay Awake” – Nayana Nair

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You loved well.
I loved well.
The saddest days we have made it though
are proof that.
We have survived through the worst,
it is just that we don’t know
how to love each other in peace.
How to keep our love alive
when there are no enemies threatening it.
The calendars change, the furniture change
and we find ourselves always sitting at opposite end of this room,
suspecting each other of sneaking this distance between us
finding a new worse to fear
and fearing even trying to move towards each other
even when we want to get rid of this silence more than anything.
While you sleep, I stay awake
knowing (guessing) you are as awake as I am.
I stay awake looking into the night
trying to create a monster
that might bring us back together.

“Lies I tell myself everyday” – Nayana Nair

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I tell myself again and again
what it is that I really want
as I force myself to sit there and listen to every word
that diminishes the efforts I have put in my dream.
It makes me feel strong and pathetic at the same time,
that my wanting too little
could also be something that I must be criticized for,
something I must apologize for.
They force in their way into my mind
and take away every picture, every memory that exists
not for my happiness, not as a proof of my life
but a reminder, a reason for me to forgive and let go
of all the hurtful words that my dear ones
speak at me casually in the name of care.
I beg and cry inside,
outside I look unbothered.
I resort to everything,
anything to postpone this dismantling and rating of my life
even by a day.
I tell myself again and again
I can bear this
but I don’t think I can.
Every morning I convince myself
that all I do will make sense to them someday.
But will it really?
I do not have one person who believes in me,
in what I am capable of.
How long, how far can I walk
only by the strength of a delusional value and importance
that only I can attribute to myself.

“Scroll” – Nayana Nair

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I scrolled through
and then scrolled back again.
I did this too many times
comparing each picture with another.
I knew I would not remember even one of them
and probably edit out
all uncomfortable and evident pain
but carry only the image I could see in all.
That all who were struck by lightning
carried that lightning on their skin
but the skin remembers only the darkness of that hour.
Sometimes it felt I am looking at an unlucky individual
picked out by nature to brand the helplessness of our species.
Sometimes I was in awe of the life that refused to leave the heart
even when it stopped,
even when the brightest death called for it.
But I knew that it was one beauty I do not envy
and I don’t want to be in their shoes.
I probably wanted to remember proofs
of when human and nature were
at their weakest and their worst
and how magnificent the scars of it are
to the eyes of a person like me
who was not there to suffer.

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