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“Audience” – Nayana Nair

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the most beautiful
bitter bits
of this world
belong to me now.

a car rushes by far away
and i wonder about
the girl crying her eyes out
on the table not far from mine,
or the middle-aged man looking lost
in front of his home in my window,
or the woman who left her phone and purse
on her table on purpose
and turned back at the door to look at something
i couldn’t see.

i wonder if they feel the same as me,
if i would ever feel anything brand new,
if i would ever have a feeling
not felt by anyone in this world.
even when i know how ordinary
my extra-ordinary pain is, why does it feel so deep,
why do i struggle to walk on these crowded roads
why can’t i wear my sadness, my tears on my eyes
and let this world be the audience for once.

“Black Pond” – Nayana Nair

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As I climb,
my steps remembered the shoes I once had
the ones that didn’t hurt so much
and how hands of mine that hacked through them
just to become my own person,
some sort of grown-up.
I climbed over the yellow soft dress
and the light that it caught
just to get this, this body that looks held together
but is not
(this body knows only how to fall apart),
just to get few more shadows that ruin my beautiful wrist
with their persistent passion.
They claw through me, to see how I am made,
how I look and speak once I break.
A stranger once left me at the bottom of a black pond
and called it love just so that I won’t cry
and in return I called him my love
just for few breaths, just for my life.
I climbed over the right to mean the word “love” thereafter
and the dream of knowing a heart other than mine.
I breathe as if I have sinned
yet I walk like I am happiness and determination in flesh.
I cling to all the bitter bits of this world
as if they would ultimately save me.
I climb over, get over, and forget
so easily, so bitterly
that each feeling of mine is just a shade
of resentment.

“Small Impossible Dream” – Nayana Nair

Her floor had always been the color of the season
I remember this, only when I step into the mess of her life.
The spring issues lay scattered like the flowers
The pink, red, yellows, and greens,
women who only know youth,
women who only grow younger
the kind of woman she wanted to be
(what a small impossible dream)
and she almost is.
And now that she can never change
would she be happy?
When/if she comes across her own lifeless eyes in the missing posters
would she be glad to be one of the “sad popular”?
I shatter the home of her missing goldfish
in my haste efforts to pick them up
and put them out of sight- the bundles of glossy paper
that my eyes can’t handle.
I try to put them away,
wanting to throw them away
now that she wouldn’t mind, now that she won’t yell at me
or anyone for taking away too much of her.
I want to try it.
i want to try, so she has no option but to stop me.
“let’s leave her in peace” tells me my moral compass and my grief.
“i don’t want to show her the kind of respect that only dead deserve”
shouts back my anger and my love.
I drop the heaviest bag in this world on her rain soaked bed.
Her last dress, her last chocolate wrapper, her last bus ticket,
her last mistake, her last breath
everything spilling out,
everything ruining the spring that I dreamed for her along with her.

"Ports" – Nayana Nair

a blue cloudy sky over a banana plantation.
the only word to be heard – rebellion.
someone is crying far away.
another round of bullets leave the shaking hands
of the one who can’t seem to stop crying.
now he must die just like me.
he rests his bloody head and its murky thoughts on me.
in this last afternoon of my life
i drift into bouts of darkness,
without fear for first time,
with the company of only his confused memories.
will this be my last dream – his life?
even in his head my homeland and its afternoons are beautiful.
he has a face that he doesn’t want to forget,
he has childhood home he can always return to
but he didn’t, he regrets it now.
he remembers the red color that his sister
stopped wearing on her lips
once her heart was broken badly.
how he kept it with himself, as a symbol of happiness
that he can’t have only for himself.
there are ports on rainy days
and buildings that became sadder at night.
he once painted the window that would never open to him
or anyone else for that matter.
he cried when another nameless woman was found lifeless
on the last page corner of newspaper
and the window never lighted anymore.
there is a cafe filled with few bombs that didn’t go off
where the only one spared was him.
he doesn’t want to be spared anymore.
i wonder if he thinks that he can have happiness when he ends.
i wonder if i will be able to smile on a rainy day, even if i am born again.

“Funny Look” – Nayana Nair

When I speak of
what I thought my life would be like,
what I still want to be if I was not dying in my skin,
they give me a funny look as if I am seeing things.

And frankly I am seeing the only things
that give me hope.
I am aware of their imaginary status
and how separated by time they are from my life.

But I wish instead they would just smile along
as if I am a child who speaks
of ten professions in one breath
and not remind me how I am losing out in life as a woman
just because I am trying to breathe as my dream once in a while.

“the darkness that she sings for me” – Nayana Nair

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i am in love
with the woman who sings and
becomes the background
of my every night.

i like to listen to her voice
as she takes my every second
keeps it out of my reach,
teaches me some really suspicious ways
to keep myself safe from the her demons.

she glows in the darkness that she sews
only for me,
for me to hold her hand the way
she will never be held,
the way i will never be held.

i hate to cry,
i have cried for a long time
for people who called me their option
when i was out of earshot
my tears are cheap, now all they do
is make me feel equally cheap
but the tears i shed for her life are beautiful
the tears i shed for her (who feels like me)
stops me from taking pills i don’t need.

another lover of hers sat opposite me few days ago.
she looked so much like her.
it made me wonder if i looked like her as well.
i wonder she knows her lovers are running amok
in the world that she paints with her pain.
i wonder if she knows that we are catching all her fears,
staying away from guys who speak like her ex,
staying away from the patterns she has pointed out.

i wonder if she knows
that we tell strangers “she sings well, she writes well”
when we want say
“she made me embrace the woman in me
that i have been trying to kill for a long long time.
she stood in my moonlight
counting all the daggers that make her bleed every day,
the same daggers that i fear to acknowledge,
telling me about the exact number of days it takes to collapse again,
about the face, her heart, and her womb that are for anyone’s taking,
about her rage, her mind, and her will that she was allowed to keep.
how she wanted to give up last night.
how giving up can become a concept of life every easily
but she didn’t want that,
because she didn’t want to be
the sad pathetic corpse of the woman
that the world said she would eventually be.”

i am in love with the woman
who wants me to be more than a silent background.

“Delicate” – Nayana Nair

On Sundays, I wear the purple summer dress
that I once promised myself I would never wear.
I paint my nails, I color my lips, and I open the windows in me.
I become someone I was taught to hate, I try to break
my hatred with my smile.
I let myself be reigned
by the greed for beautiful, sweet, shining things.
I think of all the things I have tried not to want.
I let myself be the delicate vulnerable woman
that is easy to love, easy to idolize,
easy to abuse, easy to blame, and easy to hate.
I tell myself that it is not my fault,
but the more I live the harder it becomes to believe it.
I fall asleep on the floor where first I tasted blood,
wondering why I can never give up on this dress, this dream
that has given me nothing but hurt.

“Don’t tell me” – Nayana Nair

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Unlike your descriptions,
the green doesn’t wait for the sun.
It doesn’t know what waiting is,
what the word ‘sun’ is, it doesn’t even know
that you are the its spokesperson.

I am not coming at your throat dear,
it’s just that
I feel, as time passes
that you see me more as that green
than your woman.

You cut my sentences
and give me used bottles of perfumes, of love
that I must wear.
The only thing you tell me about your day
is how women dote on you
and place you first in the list of men to seduce.

I remember I once said,
“please don’t tell me, i don’t want to know”
and you glared back,
lectured me on openness and honesty and strength of love.

“i don’t want to know”
I said it only once,
because my I was afraid to say it ever again.
And in my unreasonable fear, I understood
that in this life of pretend, I had also begun
to see you as another sun,
even when you are not.

So, I am not coming at your throat dear.
I am try to free myself from your hold,
from your twisted idea of love,
that is messing with my mind now.
I am someone without you as well,
and I don’t want to be convinced that I am not.

“Worse than Imperfect” – Nayana Nair

You were the most imperfect person I ever met
and have made me believe that I am worse.

Or maybe I saw too much of you.
so much
that you made me feel sick of you,
sick of myself,
and sick of whatever they call love.

You stumbled around
walking over my feelings,
drunk on your pride
and your sense of entitlement,
threw away what I treasured
because obviously you knew better,
called me insane
called me names
when I called you out on your hypocrisy.

Waking up next morning
expecting understanding,
expecting obedience,
expecting another day of a convenient love
with this inconvenient woman.
One day, that day won’t come.

“You’d be proud of me” – Nayana Nair

Just wanted you to know

that I am doing well,

that I miss you even when I shouldn’t,

that you’d be proud of me
if you saw how good I have become
at evading love,

that I am doing all that I wanted,

that without the barriers of your love
my life stands in luminous warm sun
and in the depressing beautiful rain as well,

that I miss you
but don’t want you back yet,

that I am slowly growing into the woman
who knows how to love someone
as good and twisted as you,
though I won’t get to love you again.

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