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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.

“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.

“Red Valley” – Nayana Nair

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every red flower
that couldn’t bloom,
that was denied a spring,
now grows inside us.

we breathe to keep them alive
so their sky remains blue
and they might know
what tomorrow means.

there is a weight on our tiny shoulders
to carry voices that were once locked in vacuum,
to do everything right,
to build greenhouses by our words and intention.

but we don’t need broad strong shoulders
to carry this weight, to keep this valley alive.
we only need to unlearn
every cruelty we have ever been taught.

“Better Clone” – Nayana Nair

If you were to find a love
that could make you complete,
I hope you find it with me.
I hope I become better
before you start looking for this love.
So that being myself won’t mean
being cruel and uncaring.
So that loving me won’t be a sacrifice.

I want to have you
without breaking you
and without breaking me.
But how often does life work out like that.

When you became the question of my life,
all I could do was hope
because what I had was not enough for myself.
What if you were to ask me something
that would remind me of my poverty?

I am afraid that this
is what you are meant to do in my life-
remind me again and again
that I am lacking in so many ways.

But all I can do is try
try to become someone who has lesser faults.
Because giving you up
is not something that I would ever want.
But some nights I wonder how long will I last
before I collapse under the weight
of your wants and mine.

“What I Remember(9)”- Nayana Nair

I tell myself stories about
why I threw away all that I had,
or why everything was taken away from me.
How I was too weak, will always be too weak
to carry the weight of the gifts that I had.
Or how I was never quite convinced
that I had something to be proud of.
How I was always trying to gauge
how much deep my feelings ran
for everything that I could only sort-of-love.
I can list all similar attempts
where I sought a better quantitative understanding of my specialness
and used these unreliable results to decide how and when to give up.
But if I had to give one consolidated story of
why I was never a failure at anything,
why I never succeeded,
why I had nothing to show for the years I lived
or for the talents that people remember me for.
If I had to be concise and true
I would say
I never made those decisions,
I was never aware of how I felt about
all the things that bother me now.
I drifted away from what I was, from what I treasured,
the way dear friends lose touch, lose each others name,
lose a happiness they could have had.
Only to be reminded of this loss
when it no longer matters.

“Argument” – Nayana Nair

The essays I have written
on the wretchedness of this world,
they are merely an argument,
a poor argument,
the only argument I can give
when I am confronted
by the wretchedness of my own soul,
the blood on my own hands,
the weight of shame on my conscience,
and my inability to change.

(Quote from manga Oyasumi Punpun)

“Questions on Eternity” – Nayana Nair

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The winter rains
have found me again
but only without you.
They ask me of I still believe in eternity
and I choose not to answer
because I am living in one,
even if it not the one I wanted.
Your sweet face and words,
that are no longer yours,
is the only analgesic sleep
I get in this tiring and painful existence.
I am promised
that there is only one who will look after me,
there is only one who is mine.
But can I actually believe in one love.
Isn’t it too tragic?
For there are many that will never stick around
in spite of their love or mine.
There are many for whom all this is nothing more
than the time they have spent on strangers,
to run from themselves.
And if I find myself
alone at the end,
am I supposed to wait for all those who live to leave?
Am I the only one who is supposed to wait and suffer?

***

While the whole world scratches out their own words
realizing it as idiotic and impractical,
but still wanting the weight of this ideal
to be carried by others.

***

They want to roam the world
and come back home to find food and bed made with love,
not minding the responsibility of waiting
that they have put on someone else.

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