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“could-have-beens” – Nayana Nair

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when saw my skin, i saw only cracks
cracks that would have looked worse
if i could see better.
i wanted to look away
but all i could do was think-
age is creeping up on me
slowly and cruelly
and you are not here.

i think of all the things
i can never have now.
things i meant to do everyday
things i put off, delayed
because you needed time.
all the things i denied myself
because i wanted to wait for you.

but the weight of things i have given up
seems to have increased exponentially
since you learnt to change your mind.

so me and my could-have-beens
we sit at different tables in the same world,
looking at each other with disappointment.
how ridiculous is this
that i am waiting,
even when there is no one to wait for,
even when i know that running away
was the only thing you could be relied upon for.

“You’re right” – Nayana Nair

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last night

*i do not like saying last night
because once i only used to speak of it as ‘yesterday night’
until someone told me that it’s wrong, even if it means the same

so last night
i thought how it is something you’d say
“it means the same, but you are wrong”

sample conversation
(based on reality, read too much into lines,
sounds more neutral that it was, maybe not much of reality then)

my heart feels so empty
can’t you love me bit more
while i try to fix myself
i promise you
one day you won’t have to try
but i need you today
i need you to try a bit for me
can you wait a bit for me

you will remain empty till you hold onto yourself only
contrary to your belief
you cannot fill yourself with you
you can only be full of yourself
which might be the case that you fall under
thought i am not professionally trained
to point out the wrong
in people’s heart
but there is so much wrong with you
that i can’t swallow the judgement i have passed on you
i cannot help you grow up
i have a life, i have a dream
i have a need for someone
who can be there for me
without asking such things from me…

and so went our conversation
and obviously you were right
you were right to such an extent
that i would be just making a fool of myself
if i tried to negate the facts

so being the emotional being that i am
i hated you
for being correct, for being so cruel,
for speaking coldly about me,
for letting me know more about-
self-indulgence, self-pity,
victim mentality, and emotional manipulation.
and if i cried now, you’d be proving your point.
if i complained, you’d be writing it down as a case study
to support your claims.

and because of my stupid unrealistic love
and my distorted sense of reality
i sat there in front of you
saying “i am sorry”.

you are right
i need to get rid of what i am
to get anywhere in life,
to get over you.

“Waiting for Winter” – Nayana Nair

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if i carry a flower in my heart.
if i could name this flower after myself
and i walk into rooms where i do not belong
and tried to become a garden, become a spring
to all the orbs of winter walking past me,
would they stop and look into my eyes
and see the effort, the sincerity i am putting
to flower one last time?

“this how i want to be frozen in you” – Nayana Nair

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wave after wave of cold air,
of sad premonitions
reached us, tried to convince us
that this was a really bad idea.
that on a cold day like this
there were easier ways to find warmth,
ways that would take away no part of us.

and frankly i was afraid.
i stopped maybe a million times on my tracks.
i waited for someone to call me
to remind me of something really urgent
that needed my attention.
i almost prayed for you to give up.

but you kept walking.
you kept repeating that this would be fun.
so even when your hands were shaking
and even when your eyes were red,
i chose not to notice it.
i chose to believe that your heart is stronger,
that you would get us there.

you were always better at pretending for my sake.
you pretended to know all the answers
while i shamelessly hid behind you
when doubts barked at me on streets.
so when we walk on the river that could melt any day, any moment
i wanted you to lean on my heart for once.

my fearful weak heart was the only thing i could give.
i knew my love would last only moments and yours would last an eternity.
but selfishly i held onto you.
so when i kissed you and you smiled,
i want to say i felt sad and guilty,
but i did not.
i was just happy, probably the happiest on this planet
to have touched this sun, this spring, this filler of all voids,
to have become the reason you will break.
i really am the worst.

“the giants continue to live in my dreams” – Nayana Nair

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Across the street
lived the giants.
The green giants-
who waited for rains to cry,
who waited for the night to speak.

Thankfully the windows
in my temporary home
were small and few.
Thankfully it was always cold,
that awful cold
that makes you want to sleep
for a long long time.

So I slept and slept.
I ate whatever my mother cooked.
I waited for her to tell me
what I am to do with my life.
While the kids I never spoke to,
went into the home of giants
to put them on fire,
I slept.
I slept and cried in my dreams.
Because tears on my real skin
would make this sadness more real.
Real sadness demands reasons and explanation.
Real sadness demands proofs.

I slept
to dream,
to stand among them-
the ones who have learnt
how to live and die quietly,
to forgive easily.
I waited for the day
I would grow roots,
the day when I could smile
at my falling leaves.
I waited for the day
I could become one of them
and not the cruel outsider that I am now.

“Moments with a Cold Sun” – Nayana Nair

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With each day crossed out.
With each dresses, each mask added to the my wardrobe.
With each hand that passed into mine,
with each hand that moved onto the next too easily,
I realized I knew how to dance to this tune
that used to frighten me once.

Another stranger,
another potential lover,
another sun that has already grown cold,
whispers in my ears – words I do understand.

I search for a harmless smile in my bag.
I hang it carefully on my face.
I turn myself into a gift,
into a substitute of love
for this person –
who is dying like me,
waiting like me,
for something, anything
to fill the time left.

“Greater Good” – Nayana Nair

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The trees are alive today.
They ask me to sing them to sleep for the last time.
I sing for hours
but they refuse to close their eyes.

They ask me how I have been,
not waiting for my answer,
in one breath they ask
about the words they don’t understand,
ask me about the days I do not remember anything about
(there are so many days I have no memory of
while I can’t forget the days I really want to forget),
about the rain that has left us long ago.

Their love for this world that they do not understand-
makes me jealous,
makes me wonder,
if I could love also this world as much as I want to
if I knew a little less,
if I gave up this human heart
that knows nothing but to steal and plead,
to take away and bleed.
But if I knew how to give up myself
for my greater good,
I would have done so long ago.

I can only stay selfish,
act better than what I am,
sing songs to the trees
that will soon be killed for my sake.

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