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“Version” – Nayana Nair

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Sometimes the hatred, the bias that
people around him smoked
sticks to his clothes, his skin, his tongue
when I come near him.
He can wash it from himself with a sleep.
He can leave it at the door, when he steps in.
But I can’t wash it out of my mind.

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In my mind
I mix up the person he is and the person he has to be.
But I realise that I do not know the person he is,
I only know the person he has to be for me,
I only resent the person he has to be for others.

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The person he is, looks at me from his corner of eyes
and this stranger looks at me
not across oceans, not across roads of fate,
but across the versions of us filling up the space between us,
the versions we can never throw away.

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This stranger looks at me and gives me the smile
that he has to wear for me.
For me to realise the love I have for the the days
I share with this person who spends his days with me,
loses his ways with me and grows old with me.
I smile back becoming the person I have to be for him,
becoming the version I love the most.

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“New Organ” – Nayana Nair

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All the words that I have gulped down
are still inside me,
never digested.
They have found a space for themselves-
A new throbbing organ that I cannot name,
since I have never named my organs,
someone else always does it for me
(does it for all of us)
and tells me through fading words
of second-hand textbooks
how is it supposed to feel to be a human,
how I am just a complicated machinery
and why my heart can’t possible think or want.

“Poster” – Nayana Nair

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I thought I would only have one poster
when I decided to clearly define what I am.
I stuck it up only after careful consideration.
Consideration of the space it takes.
Consideration of the how much I am allowed to grow.
Condsideration for the things that will be hidden away and
lost under the layer of this paper,
which is necessary
maybe only for me.
And soon when my smile changed a bit,
I had to get new poster.
When I could no longer sing along to my favoutite song,
I had to get a new poster.
When my legs became more noticeable than my words,
I had to get a new poster.
When my dreams felt hollow, I had to get a new poster.
But the soon I ran short of space.
Soon the only way to continue seeing myself for what I am
was to cover up what I was once.
To make space for another me
to exist another day.
All this
so that I do not wake up one morning
not knowing who I am.

“Exceed” – Nayana Nair

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I try to hold back my tears
so as not to exceed the amount of space
I am allowed to take in this world.

“Your Place” – Nayana Nair

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I am not walking over
your footprints.
I am walking into the space you used
to occupy in this world.
I am walking into your absence.
I am taking your place.
I am taking your voice.
I am taking in the laughter
that escaped your lips
and never found their way back.
I am walking towards the fate
that took you from me, from this world.
But I do not seem to reach the place
where you are.
I have become one with the doorbell that never rings,
with the appointments on calendar
you will never be able to keep.
I can’t curse you for leaving me.
Some journeys are made without choice
and some distances are granted for our own peace.
The place you made for me in this life
is the only thing that feels right without you.
Only thing I can do
is to stop waiting,
and live your life
in your place.

“Rewrite” – Nayana Nair

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I could say that you are so far away
that you cannot know what makes me
even if you tried.
For I feel the excuse of distance cannot fill this basket
that would have been essentially filled with the
reasons that are easier to put in mouth
but difficult to wrap our heart around.
Like the words that are often deleted and rewritten
so as not to offend.
And rewritten thousand times
so that they say nothing, mean nothing.
And we are content at the fact
that we could voice something in this world
even if the purpose of these words
was to just to fill up the air, fill up our time.
And the space just widens between us,
not because
there is distance between our heart
(because this wide world was made
for our heart to roam,
so this distance cannot be avoided).
But because I could never let you
rest your head, rest your questions
on the lap of my thoughts.
So that you may know
how my life (just like yours)
simmers under the heat of
indifferent care
that we are all used to receive.

Knives of fingers

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Knives of fingers, the gods
Open with space every part
Of my body. My heart
Is hollow for blood,
My sculpted throat turns air
To voice, and dreams flare
In the cave of my skull.

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-“The Hollow Bargain“, Michael Spence

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