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“Your Cactus” – Nayana Nair

i never learnt about gardening, nor about patience, nor about caring,
nor about looking after anything that doesn’t speak, doesn’t complain,
doesn’t tell me in plain words how i am terrible, how i mistakes make me
even if those mistakes are not mine.

i wish i was blind, i wish i was mute,
i wish i was the cactus in your bedroom.
i wish i was the books you didn’t read but can’t throw away.
i wish i could stop wanting to be a decoration in your life.
i wish i could stay human and stay in love at the same time.

in my room
i close my eyes, and find myself with you.
it must be dream, i wish it was.
for here you don’t cry because of me,
don’t have to tear yourself up just to be nice to me.
i wish it was a dream
because here i have forgotten to tell you
that i can’t love anything that loves me back.
i wish you stop making my heart ache with your sincerity.
i wish i woke up
before you sacrifice anything more than you already have.

“Just Poems” – Nayana Nair

My mind that understands
is chained and crippled by its understanding.
It only tries to understand new words
by comparing it to
what has already written or read.
It only understands feelings in terms of
the pain it has given
or all it has suffered.

-o-

So when I stand in front of the doors of a poem
feeling the sting of December winds on my back.
When I ring the doorbell
and hear from other side “May I come inside?”
I immediately know that this not something
that I understand,
that there is a difference
in reading as if
sitting on the couch in a stranger’s house
waiting to be entertained
and reading as if
I have let the stranger in my own mind
and allowed him to change
the view I have of this world.

-o-

Some poems are not just poems.
They are voices that never die
because they have never been born.
They are ghosts that we have always wanted to haunt.
They are names we give to our own suffering,
a closure that only we can give to ourselves.

“Keep Peace” – Nayana Nair

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I could be anything I wanted
but not her.
She thinks too less about wanting the right things,
about wanting things that are lying around in
the debris of Lego buildings broken by
hands of a small gods who gets bored easily.

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If she really wanted to feel
what fulfillment feels like
she could have walked through the gardens
that were made for soul like hers
(or should I say gender like hers).
It is better, I can vouch,
better than wanting to go to places
where she is not wanted,
where they would ask-
“why can’t she read the situation?”,
“why can’t she keep peace?”,
“what are these demands that she must have
when she has lived without it all her life?”,
“how is she any different from others
who know how to take the equality that we are offering
without wanting a share of ours
wanting to be a bit more like us?”.

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I can understand all that
but she doesn’t
and there is no way that
I can make her see the pain she is walking towards,
make her hear the names she will be called
just for asking what everyone else wants to ask
but fear being in wrong terms
with the people who run this world.

“Lucky” – Nayana Nair

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I cannot digest
all that I read and find to be true.
Some portion of every beautiful art
hurts my heart.
All the tragedies and even forgettable bruises
could have been a play set under crimson bloodied skies
but they are not.
They happen in spaces that looks like the one
we might have passed through unknowingly.
They happen under the smiling sun
to people
who are supposed to read depressing statistics in magazines
and tell themselves that they are fine as long as
they are lucky by comparison.

“Running Stream” – Nayana Nair

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My hope waits for the day that this skin won’t alien,
like a loss,
like a counter running out of number
like our voices running out of things to say.

***

And my wishes for a gentler nature,
or to be that cool-headed person I once read about,
or to be the running stream of water
before it was poisoned.
All changed to wanting
something that is not waiting to vanish.

“Defeated Packets” – Nayana Nair

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While you read my words
and said,
“How strange is this world!”
Sunlight rushed in,
to hold a strand of your hair,
fell on these pages
and cried out like a child,
hurt that it could not have you.
I smiled to myself knowing what you meant.
These words of mine reminded you of the confusing
and volatile shores of right and wrong
that often you found yourself standing on.
And never knew when the land shifted,
when the tide came in.
Never knew when you changed your heart.
You thought it was strange.
But I know what your words mean,
it is same for me.
The strange feeling in my words
is a mere attempt to copy your strangeness,
your beauty.
So that the defeated packets of sunlight
can finally rest on the curves of your words.

“Can’t do this alone” – Nayana Nair

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Hold me back
from loosing myself to the the slow pain
that reaches from within me
spiraling up to any light it can see.
Pushing me, climbing over me.
Not caring.
Needing not to care,
while my body moves
from one breaking world to other,
from one uncertain gaze to another.

As I read my own words aloud,
as I see myself trying to disown them,
to strip away my own image
that I must maintain
for others to be at peace.
I feel the need for the closed boxes of solitude
where I made my own seasons and delusions
where I rehearsed answers to questions no one ever asked.
I don’t want to go back to that place,
the only place my heart thinks of as home.
I can’t do this alone.
This life of yearning and restraining
myself from living my own life.

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