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“Give Up” – Nayana Nair

You’ve taught me
that I need not be only one thing
and suffer because of it.
That my identity need not be something that traps me
and stops me from doing what I want
or change my mind about what I want.
That I could melt in love
and still be as strong as I wanted to be
if not for myself, then at least
for the sake of the ones that I love.
That I can choose even failures
if that’s what I really wanted
that I could give up,
and by giving up,
by stopping to tend to my wounds
I was not letting anyone down,
especially not myself.

“Love?” – Nayana Nair

I wanted too little
and yet you who speaks of all the riches of this world
you could not give me the little that I wanted.
Not because you can’t
but because you would rather not.

I am poisonous.
I am the worst,
the one people should avoid.
All my sorrows are my punishment for not being what you wanted.
All my weakness is something to be ridiculed.
I should be okay
or even rejoice when you question my mental stability
everyday as a joke.

This is what your love has taught me.

Can it still be called love?
Am I still obliged to love you back in a kinder way,
when all you have done is to take pride
that you loved someone twisted as me
as if you have made the biggest sacrifice of your life.

“Counting Losses” – Nayana Nair

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I can only go as far as my muscle memory takes me.
Since my mind is not here
and I can’t leave this body
that I have never been able to accept as mine.
There is a road that lies in front of me
and there is nothing for me to do
but to walk.
You bring me back to present
and ask me where I have been.
There is a place that I left lifetimes ago,
where I am searching for the reason of my grief.
There is a sun that rises only in the heart of the lost,
there is a mist I live in that you cannot see.
I can stand at any edge and be sure I won’t fall.
I can reach out for any happiness that I am sure I can’t have
and nothing will hurt me more than that.
There are losses that I am counting,
there are bruises I must count as gain only because of love.
Every hope I find
becomes a reminder of something I have already lost.
Can you teach me-
how to go about this life,
how to get rid of this part of me
that can only love the past?

“Closer to Me” – Nayana Nair

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Now the dark corners
are the only safe place remaining.
The loveless days
are the only memory where we can rest
where we can hide from
all the passion that we wished for,
all the feelings we couldn’t handle.

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You once wrote to me about the night
that hung as a curtain over your window,
about how you can’t gather the courage to see the light
until I came along and tore away those curtains,
broke your shields
so that you could see what lay beyond.
I once took pride in being the one
who destroyed all dark cells within you.

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But I realized too late that you were a flower
who could only bloom in dark,
that shields exist for a reason,
that each step you took towards your fear
thinking it would bring you closer to me
was just the beginning of sacrifices
you made to stay in my world.

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As I lay beside you
trying to undo my harm
trying to teach you how to forget me,
what I regret most is that
when you struggled with what you are
I was only proud of my love that could make you do all that
instead of being seeing your love
that could do what I couldn’t.

“Wrong Way” – Nayana Nair

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They forgot to teach me
the most basic thing-
to know which side I should take
to keep a check on papers, to see sense
when someone tells me what is politically right
and to agree when they tell me that identity is everything
not only mine, but of all those who live on same piece of land as me.
They forgot to tell me to fight and argue
in the name of and for the sake of people
who didn’t care about the fight,
who were fine living the way they did.
I ended up believing
that I could just exist without belonging to any shore
and maybe make my own
and pray that no one joins me
and turn my life into something to live by.

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How could they have overlooked this ,
didn’t they foresee how I would sit awkwardly
midst strangers and have nothing to say
about how the world was run.
Would they consider me silly,
would they think that I am shallow
if I was thinking about the fictional character from a story
and his conflicts?
Would they judge me if the story in question was not about
wars, rivalry or mid-life crisis
but one of romantic ones with cheesy lines
that everyone seems to detest?
They should have told me to memorize lines from papers
and opinion columns
and pass it as my own,
when I was not interested to form opinions
on topics that seemed to be of grave importance to others.
I should know better than to write poems on love and sadness
when people are dying around me.
But I don’t.

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I think I may have been brought up the wrong way
and there is nothing I can do about it now.
But I am not even sure whether
I want to fix the things
that I asked to feel ashamed of.

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