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"the shadow at the foot of my bed" – Nayana Nair

today is the birthday of one another oddity of mine.
on a day like this,
few calendars ago
i learnt how to turn my helplessness into my charm.
i learnt to fill the glasses, the throats of everyone i know
with something sweet, with a taste they can’t name.
i learnt to become something that can’t be known or hurt.
in my bedroom i sit at the foot of my bed
trying to block out the presence, the weight
of the other half of my body
clinging, clawing, crying, dissociating.
i again forget where i am.
i again forget how to stop shaking.
if i walk a bit more into the darkness
i feel i won’t have to pretend to be the one
who has a say in what happens to her.
a hand slips into mine.
sometimes it rests on my waist,
and i force myself not to feel nauseated.
love him. love her. i tell myself repeatedly.
love. love. love. love till i can make up for all my lacks.
my love is my penance, my apology
to anyone who chooses me as their destiny.

“Unlike me” – Nayana Nair

Sometimes I fear you –
the way you can make me want to change,
the way you make me act unlike myself.
I doubt that maybe I am too easily convinced
and too easily affected by your existence.

I wonder
my effort to become someone you deserve
how is it different from the insincerity
that I have always shown to this world.

When I grow tired of this act
I might end up making you the excuse,
might call you the liquor that I regret giving control to.
I am already finding it easy to resent you
for everything I do wrong.

“You have changed my life”-
is the sweetest sad thing that I never want to say.

“Sense of Urgency” – Nayana Nair

Today I realized
what to call all that I have been reading for so long.
A person I didn’t mean to overhear called it ‘a sense of urgency’-
the desire to save this world as soon as possible.

It seems the enemies are too many.
I saw many names in the list of these enemies
that I silently agreed with-
pollution, dictatorship, bullying,
monetization of education, competing in a rigged world,
oppression of lives and loves of minority, hate crimes,…

I scoffed at some:
the collapse of society in the hands of socially withdrawn,
collapse of economy in the hands of those who want and do less,
the unfeeling and unapologetic generation that seems to love depression,
women whose learning and thinking too much only breaks families,…

“this is the cause worth dying for”-
I suddenly became afraid of that feeling.

As I read all the absurd causes I couldn’t agree with.
As I read and became exasperated at the words of those
who were convinced that they knew better
even as they killed and killed and killed
and got addicted to seeing blood dissolving in oceans.
I realized
how dangerous this feeling could be.

“this is what to means to change the world.
to change the world
is to walk over everything I don’t want to see”
My sense of urgency hated me for thinking this.
It recited every quote about silence of good men.
But all I could now see was the line that I must not cross,
the words I must not say, the knife that I must never hold-
no matter the cause.

“About Voices, Miracles, and Consolations” – Nayana Nair

I can’t leave cause I am broken.
No one would take me now.
No one should have to make do
with someone left behind.

But its your voice that says all this.
Your voice is stronger than mine.
Yours is the only voice that I have.

The hope of a miraculous understanding
has so far proven to be my weakness,
a word that makes me give up and resign far too easily.
Do what you want. I have no choice but to love you.
Or else I might end up hate myself as well.

That’s what the hope of understanding makes me say.

I have been hearing voices
speaking of everything that is true.
I have been seeing the places we’ll end up
even if we continue.
Every medicine, ever distraction brings me guilt
of looking away from you.
So the easiest way to live with you
is to console myself.
I console myself everyday
with the message of imperfect love,
with the sight of imperfect you.

“As long as I had love” – Nayana Nair

The air fills my lungs,
and drowns me
and now I remembering things that I shouldn’t
I am remembering every moment of my incomplete death.
Someone cuts a window in my chest,
rips into pieces the words that shouldn’t get out.
A rough skin holds me a bit too long
with a bit too much force,
a bit too much neglect.
ohhh…it was not love after all“,
I remember thinking this
as I closed my eyes wanting to forget this person
who has taken half of my life, so easily.
For a brief moment I was loved“,
I wanted to say this at least.
I held on so long only for that sake.
But now I must breathe in the air
that I once thought I didn’t need as long as I had love.

“All that I am” – Nayana Nair

The sun in your eyes sets so slowly. I need to remind myself that this is not the end. This is not the end. This is not the end. This is but a chasm left open for the love to see. For the love to see and for this love to grow into the darkness we hide from each other, from this world, from our own eyes. She loves me, she loves me not, she loves me today, tomorrow she may not, she will love me as long as she can. These are the words I got to say and suffer over, again and again. These are the words that made me walk a little bit more. Is there anything more beautiful than this? That you were the light, the wind, the silence, the flickering hope in my heart. How can I lose you, when you are all that I am.

“storm of kindness” – Nayana Nair

i refuse to go out into
the storm of kindness
where well-meaning people
drunk on the idea of charity
are running amok on streets.

they don’t know themselves
but they know my kind,
they know all the kinds of people
i might turn into
if i don’t give up and let them in.

they want to know the name of person
who broke me so well.
they want me to cry a bit
and to try saying hello first.

the seat they sit on, still has my warmth.
i still know the name of strangers i prayed for.
how easily things change.
every life had hope,
every pain could be overcome
as long as they were not mine.

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