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“Flowers, skies and me” – Nayana Nair

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I place myself in the center of room
as you panic to pack up your stuff,
being careful that nothing is left behind.
There are flowers growing in the corners of the room
that ask you to stay.
There are green skies
that we painted.
There are flaws your and mine
that decorate this wall.
There are TV channels
that we can surf through,
there are days to be wasted.
And I want to waste them with you.

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I want you to stay.
I almost blurt it out.
But had it not been for these flowers and skies
and days written in color of your name,
I could have left
to find the dreams I never had.
There is a chandelier
of blood red glass
of your sighs and goodbyes.
I know you are not running away from me
but from our devils,
from our destruction,
that lay between us
every night.

“Home” – Nayana Nair

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I will give you a list houses
that once used to be my home
and addresses that are the only memory
that has not been blurred
or manipulated by my mind.
If you ever want to find me,
go there.

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You will see the line of trees that
framed my sunrise
and almost dry riversbeds of
round white stones, where
I slipped once (or more).
You will see the duststorms,
and the heavy rains
I stood in.
You will see the the intersections,
I could never quite cross.
But all this you see,
is not me.

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If you want to find the ‘me’,
‘me’ that I do not know of,
that I cannot give you,
go there.
And look for windows I sat by.
Look for the cold floor I lied on.
Sit there and think of a girl
who never felt quite like a person,
who could look at what lay ahead
and know
that neither the path, nor the journey was hers.
Who only wanted a room flooded with
gentle light of drowning sun,
and songs that could make her sadness beautiful.

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“Knock” – Nayana Nair

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My life is divided into different rooms
as is my heart.
For as long as I remember,
from the time I used to care for decorations
to the time I am too lazy to clean up.
From the moments of sweet solitude by the window
to the clinking glasses and winking eyes.
The room belonged more to them
than to me.

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And I often found it unsettling,
as if on a night
when I would be hiding under covers
not knowing what to fear,
someone would knock at the door
and with that knock, would come a pair of shoes
and a set of clothes, holding a person
whose face, motive or aim
would soon be inconsequential.

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And slowly she would drag me
out of each room,
snatching away each memory that she touched,
knocking down my bookcases filled with my escape,
tearing away the wallpapers
behind which I hid my unvoiced cries.
The doors would be shut on my face,
leaving me out in a storm on a moonless night,
leaving me alone to face all that I didn’t know of
taking away all that I know.

“Stuck in my heart” – Nayana Nair

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I sat on the stairs
long after they stopped shouting.
As the shout and anger
made room for themselves
in our lives.
As muted cries
became muted sighs.
I would look at the sky
and see no stars,
but only the tears
that pooled my eyes.
For long, a portion of time
got stuck in my heart
to remind of how lonely a child could be
in spite of having all.

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A Russian Word

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There must be a Russian word to describe what has happened
between us, like ostyt, which can be used
for a cup of  tea that is too hot, but after you walk to the next room,
and return, it is too cool; or perekhotet,
which is to want something so much over months
and even years that when you get it, you have lost
the desire.

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“Letter to a Lost Friend” , Barbara Hamby

“Blue Sunsets” – Nayana Nair

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There is a blue tinted haze
to the memories of you,
that have a habit of changing colors,
of disintegrating,
before get to grasp them.
I have lost many words.
I have forgotten words you once said
and now a silent motion picture
runs in my head,
where your eyes question me,
why I do not understand.
I have lost many days.
I have no recall of the
collection of hours and seconds
that you will never forget.
But still I am at peace
to have you,
and to loose your memories.
To have this blank beautiful room,
that you can paint forever
in the colors you want,
while I look out dazed
into the sunset,
fearing the day
my memories would return.

“A cup of tea on a rainy day” – Nayana Nair

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RAIN

You sit beside my favorite book,
after you hand me a cup of tea.
Though I want to know what you’ve been up to,
we just look out
as we have done numerous times,
when we had too much to say
but didn’t want to.
Knowing that silence of this room
we will make us forget all of it,
one by one.

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The struggle you had to had to face
on your way here,
with streets flooded with monsoon rains;
the fact that when the doorbell rang
I was just about to immerse myself
in sleep that had evaded me for so long;
how I sat up and wondered
would it be you
and dismissed it as another dream
that would not hurt
until I go back to reality;
how you almost wanted to run back
the moment you pressed the bell;
how you looked around my room
and felt pity and relief
at same time,
for seeing that I have not changed.

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I would have made you a cup of tea
if not for my fever
and I knew you’d make me one
for you are here to say the goodbye
that you couldn’t say all the other days
just like this.
You’d ask me if I have someone
to look after me.
And I’d ask you to stay
till the rain stops,
till the water flooding the streets recede,
till we can let go,
either of each other
or our pride.

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