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“Root” – Nayana Nair

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Everything that reminds me of what I was
leaves me helpless.
Everything that tells me of what I could be
leaves me expecting,
makes my skin weak,
makes the wound stay.
All the right word you utter
is like the air carrying scents
of a distant garden.
The garden that I will never see,
for I am a person who lives with roots
deep into disappointment.
And though I try to cut myself free
from what hurts me most,
but they are still my roots
so my freedom almost feels like a death.

“Future You Saw” – Nayana Nair

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You say, “There are two of me and two of you
and if we are trying to be precise in the count of us
I think there are many me and many you.”
Does it even matter, to think about
all the people we were just for a day?
To complain about a love that didn’t fade
but changed from one thing to another.
To complain that it changed
even when it found a way to survive somehow.
When it is trying so hard,
when it has stayed so long
do you really want to sit here
and count the ways
in which it is not what you thought it would be,
that it is somehow lacking
and breaking your heart.
I cannot hear you count again
all future you saw in me,
to be reminded
of all the things I hoped from you.
I cannot stand here and look through the real us
that we have, that has sustained
all our disappointment,
that is better than what we want.

“Slip every time” – Nayana Nair

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There is one step
where I slip every time.
And just because I know now to jump across it,
doesn’t mean it ceased to exist.
It just means I have to keep reminding myself
what to avoid.
Sadly, the trivial betrayals and their deeper hurt
doesn’t reform my trusting heart.
My aloofness is just a way to ensure
that others don’t know of this.

“Fine and Minute” – Nayana Nair

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I thought I am getting better
when I found a little more space in me for life
than what I thought I had.
When I stopped trying to hide it from my own eyes
and let small birds perch on its rusted edges
all long as they please.
But when they fly away, their voices
slowly disappears and reappears
disperses and dissolves in the air,
reminding me of days I existed
in pieces so fine and minute
that
I found myself
lacking voice, wants, or ambition.
Slowly becoming the air and food for
someone else’s need.
I find that the pain never passes.
It only forgets itself until it touches
the edges that once cut through it.
But not everything it touches has that same edge
and between the sudden encounters
with the lookalikes of what I was,
I can rest, I can breathe.

“Lookout” – Nayana Nair

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The clouds that promised
the dripping rain, the desparate run
to avoid being drenched, water clogged roads
and dripping roofs of buses and houses
-in spite of all their promises,
all it could do
was remind me of places that they will pour on,
the places I don’t live in.
And how I will wish for all the inconvenience
that I wish would befall me
rather than this life of looking out of windows,
rather than the constant lookout for a reason, a trouble
that could validate,
that can serve excuse
of my breaking heart
and my everyday sadness that refuses to blend
and hide in the background of routine.

“Far Enough to be Fine” – Nayana Nair

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I could probably have called it a blue morning
waiting through each hour for the day to gift it back its colors.
Or a white one where our eyes and the air are filled with
a whiteness that is never stained,
for it leaves as soon as it comes,
for it never comes in touch with the world,
just moves around it.
Is that the way we should have lived our life?
If we existed together, moving around each other,
maybe we wouldn’t have to look at each others brokeness like this.
You tell me it is a dirty gray morning that we are never going to forget.
And I almost curse myself
for not getting that right color on my lips before you did.
But I stop myself by reminding
that goodbyes like these should not be filled with the same mistakes
as the ones that filled our time together.
We wait for the beams of light and for the screech of tyres on road,
that takes you away, masking your last words to me
in the jarring sound of honks.
I make my way back to the gray life
that was always waiting for me.

If you looked back at me through that moving car,
through your healing heart,
when we are far enough to be fine,
would you see me as the defeated person I always was?

“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.

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