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“Last to know” – Nayana Nair

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I regret to tell you this
that the blue sky that you died for
is not longer blue.
It is painting its face with remains
of our greed, with the colors of our wars.
But it is still sort of fair.
It is trying hard not to choose sides,
not to become the flags that unites
only those whose favorite words are
‘future’, ‘safety’,’money’, ‘greatness’,
while they clutch in their hands the fate of people
they don’t identify with-
‘burden’ they call them.
‘Fear’ is another favorite word of theirs.
They don’t speak much of it, but it is most useful
or at least that’s what I have heard
from the ones we are no longer allowed to call out or even mock.
I have lost every bit of my passive aggressiveness.
Life has become more bearable
now that my skin is not broken for making too much noise,
now that we have learnt to hold each other’s tongue
so that we may not lose more friends than we already have.
I regret to tell you
that your dreams will remains dreams
and you might be one of the last to know
how dreams felt in your eyes,
how tomorrow used to change by effort.

“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.

“Safety Matches” – Nayana Nair

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tumblr_ol2m17ztNp1si0kwmo1_500

In the safety of the matches
that we have hid under our skin,
will we be safe from the winter
that lives in our hearts?

“I can’t hear your sighs” – Nayana Nair

broken_heart_by_alicat2011-d3cg2wx

I can’t hear your sighs

while you think I do not care enough.

I would love to bind myself and my life

around you,

Had I not been so sure

that freedom is the only measure of happiness for me.

kji

The love they talk about

is not in my heart.

I can’t harbor such sweetness.

I can’t live in surrender.

I was not made for that.

My heart was not made to be loved,

but to be cherished.

I won’t settle for anything less.

I do not ask for anything more.

kji

My idea of love was never

the protection or sense of safety I always lacked.

Or admiration true or false

that could put to sleep the complexes I have.

Or to be touched in ways

that make human hearts race.

kji

My idea of love was

to be so precious to someone

that they you never

change me or break me.

kji

You changed me.

You broke me.

And I only remember the sighs you took while doing so.

Making me feel less than what I am.

kji

But still, I breathe the same air as you,

Cause,

Once,

You almost loved me.

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