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“After All” – Nayana Nair

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When I am tempted to forget
to stop walking away from you, to return,
to shed a few tears
if it can get me your love.
I remind myself
again and again
choking on my words
that won’t kill me after all.

“I am not what he wants.”
“I am not what he wants.”

“Short lived season of comfort” – Nayana Nair

Any seat that I was comfortable occupying
was always unbearably cold.
People were right when they said
that something was not right with me.
For my flesh wanted to become fresh snow,
my bones the lone tree
under which sat my soul-
a child learning to count
the years of cold and whiteness,
an innocent, forgetful, and aging brain
living in a world
with no song, no spring, no rain,
to remind of all that is lost.

“Better Clone” – Nayana Nair

If you were to find a love
that could make you complete,
I hope you find it with me.
I hope I become better
before you start looking for this love.
So that being myself won’t mean
being cruel and uncaring.
So that loving me won’t be a sacrifice.

I want to have you
without breaking you
and without breaking me.
But how often does life work out like that.

When you became the question of my life,
all I could do was hope
because what I had was not enough for myself.
What if you were to ask me something
that would remind me of my poverty?

I am afraid that this
is what you are meant to do in my life-
remind me again and again
that I am lacking in so many ways.

But all I can do is try
try to become someone who has lesser faults.
Because giving you up
is not something that I would ever want.
But some nights I wonder how long will I last
before I collapse under the weight
of your wants and mine.

“Have a Good Day” – Nayana Nair

I was sat down and told repeatedly everyday
that though the world belongs to all of us,
sometimes it is better
to step back,
to only take up the space we need.
I misunderstood it to be a lesson in humility,
wanting less, and sacrifice,
but I realize now that it was not so.
I was told to stop before I anger someone,
before someone got jealous,
or before they saw the weakness of my gender.

As I stand on the balcony at midnight
and hear drunk shady men shouting, cursing, and stumbling,
as they make their way to their broken homes,
I remind myself
this is what I am supposed to fled,
a person who is allowed to loose their mind,
a person who will always have excuse to hurt.
This what everyone wanted me to become,
someone who is proficient at spotting dangers,
who can conjure up the worst possible scenarios
when they hear another’s footsteps on deserted streets,
and see the worst possible demons in the face of men.

These days I often hear people say
that the new meaning of a powerful woman is
the one who walks into misfortune willingly,
before she is stalked and defeated by it.
Is this the only alternative to what I am living?

I wish that when I walked past a stranger on streets
I could smile and wish them a good day,
without having to fear being misunderstood,
without the echoes of ‘she asked for it’ in my mind.

“What I Remember(9)”- Nayana Nair

I tell myself stories about
why I threw away all that I had,
or why everything was taken away from me.
How I was too weak, will always be too weak
to carry the weight of the gifts that I had.
Or how I was never quite convinced
that I had something to be proud of.
How I was always trying to gauge
how much deep my feelings ran
for everything that I could only sort-of-love.
I can list all similar attempts
where I sought a better quantitative understanding of my specialness
and used these unreliable results to decide how and when to give up.
But if I had to give one consolidated story of
why I was never a failure at anything,
why I never succeeded,
why I had nothing to show for the years I lived
or for the talents that people remember me for.
If I had to be concise and true
I would say
I never made those decisions,
I was never aware of how I felt about
all the things that bother me now.
I drifted away from what I was, from what I treasured,
the way dear friends lose touch, lose each others name,
lose a happiness they could have had.
Only to be reminded of this loss
when it no longer matters.

“Smile and Call it Love” – Nayana Nair

From the day that I resolved
to create a door in my life
for you to move out me,
to forget you,
to even hate you, if it becomes necessary.
I thought resolve was all I needed
to get rid of the poison that you had become,
to create space for myself to grow into,
if I had to grow without love or understanding anyway.

I sorted myself and my memories
keeping only the ones that would help me
convince myself that you were bad for me,
that your love could blossom only
in the season of your selfishness,
the season where I was expected to wilt for your sake
and smile when you called it love.

I tried to remember
everything that I read in your mannerisms everyday,
everything I had overlooked as visions caused by my paranoia,
everything that came true,
everything that would have been true, only if I had let you.

I know,
I know that you were not evil,
but only human.
I know that I may have made you bleed
more that I can admit.
But I am also only a human.
Maybe I could have accepted your human nature
if my weakness, my complexes, my cruel words
could have been understood by you as well.

At some point
there was nothing you could do for me
than to remind me of my monstrosity everyday,
than to wait for me to breakdown.
At some point
there was nothing that I could do
than to walk away
and try to hate you.

“Holding onto you” – Nayana Nair

As I use your ideals and words
as the dressing to the greens that I hate,
that I find hard to chew,
I try to make myself understand you,
convince myself that I am in wrong
and I just know it yet.
I remind myself
that this time I can’t get it wrong,
that this time I can’t run from all that I have chosen.
I have lost a lot just because I wanted to live as me,
I can’t loose you as well.
When I begin to hate myself
for losing my life in your eyes,
I tell myself that one day I would thank myself
for holding onto you in spite of all.
So when I break and when it hurts,
when I see that all this is not good for me,
I crawl into your embrace
silently asking you
to tie me to yourself,
to stop me from ruining all that we have.

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