“I have learned to gaze lovingly” – Nayana Nair

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The fishes peep at me
through the pink sewer grates,
the filth and dirt and greed of city
eating their eyes,
the loneliness scratching at their fins.

I look at them
as if they are a painting
hung on an illuminated wall –
the last standing wall.
The vapors of dissipated life, dissolved flesh
spread all around it – the waste of everyday life
the waste of silent war.

But it lasts only a moment
my gift of vision, my ability to detach
only lasts so long.
The hunger in my bones, once again,
makes me look away.

I get up and walk.
I move my feet to the beat of the song
being spun in my corrupted mind
I am tempted to increase the volume
to find a pitch that resonates with the air here.
The point where everything bleeds and nothing heals
what will happen to me there,
what will happen to all of us I wonder.

But I have walked these roads before
I now know more than anything
that I only yearn to live.
Slowly, I have learned to protect my ailing tissues.
I have learned to gaze lovingly at my broken mind.
So, I press pause.
I continue to persevere.

“Something Simple” – Nayana Nair

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The evening melts into my drink.
“I must burn something of myself here.
I must burn to remember this, to remember her.”,
I keep repeating this to myself as I stand beside the dying fire.
Suddenly my teeth ache for something cold to sink into.
I remember the orange color that used to spread on my tongue
as I drowned myself in the glass bottles of artificial citrus,
running away from the summer that I had waited for.

I walk away from the fireplace,
putting a bit more distance
from the monster that ruled the mantle,
relived to have found something simple to talk about.
I sit beside her and speak in my human voice.
I tell her of this small thought,
this small honest flaw of mine she can play with.

She asks “was that how your childhood was like?”
I could have answered “that’s how my life is and will be”,
but it was more easy to ask “what color was your tongue then?”
She recites from memory a poem.
A poem on the beauty of transparent things,
on the cruelty of everything
that own you without leaving stains,
without giving you a chance to scrub them out of your soul.
She smiled and thus handed me something
that I can consider hers for a while.

“Painting water lilies” – Nayana Nair

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There was a lot of burning that day, I remember.
The black skies still cling
to the corner of my eyes.
But I don’t know fire as intimately as you do.
When I flip through your notebooks,
I only find essays made of water.
The color from my nails seep into the page.
They find the most fragile words,
the true and weak words,
words with a faint crack
similar in the shape
to the one that adorns your heart.
My nails, my cheeks become pale
as all my colors flow out of me,
as if by some urgent need,
to bloom over these words, over you,
to aid you in your hiding,
to shield you silently.

“No other reason” – Nayana Nair

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There is an empty blue seat on the bus.
You can always find them – the empty seats,
they swim in abundance in front of your eyes
when you have nowhere to go,
no hurry, no person to reach.
But to find them as you rush in and push past
the people you don’t know
holding the warmest hand in this world
is a miracle I guess.

But today is not the day for a miracle.
At least no old miracles are to arrive.
The buses they rush past
as if they have never known me,
to be fair I don’t remember
the buses like I remember people;
to be fair roads are meant for the rush.
But the cars don’t mean you,
the slow bicycles don’t mean you;
the buses that keep arriving,
the last seat always empty-
to be honest, even they don’t mean you.
You are just dragged as an additional part
as an extension to a feeling that once made me whole.

You are added as an afterthought.
I only look for you in this world
when I have no place to go, no one to blame,
when no other reason comes to my mind
for the reason my heart has grown cold,
for my eyes seeking rain,
when I see people sit back and look out
from the window that once framed us as one.
Without feelings, without missing anything,
I think of you only to fill that space.

“I am far away from giving up” – Nayana Nair

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Some kinds of love are made of flesh,
that can be killed eventually
however long it must take.
Forever does not exist for everyone.
But all that exists only in the kingdom of decay,
all that refuses to leave this flesh
as the knife of time cuts deeper and deeper,
those stubborn ones who only tend
to the roots of hopeless dreams
it was probably them, who thought up this scheme
of wanting a thing like this.
This fragile cloud of “forever” that will rain any day
and yet will rise from our tears and fill our skies again.
I am sad to say I am too weak to stray away from those skies.
I am yet to learn how to sever
the wants of my gods from my flesh.

“I hope you are as stupid as me” – Nayana Nair

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It takes an eternity.
It takes the courage of fighting
thousand bloodless wars.
It takes the the cruelty
of scratching through my own wounded skin,
breaking my own ribs that were made to protect
the soft things that keeps me alive.
It takes stupidity and few seconds
for my fingers to reach your lips.

You look up. Your gaze says something
that I do not understand.
Such beautiful hopes and possible disasters
come alive in your face.
My fear comes to the surface of my eyes
swimming in the black oil
glistening and waiting to burn.

“how it pained to part. how beautiful it is to meet.” – Nayana Nair

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the eyes made of glass stare at us
with its kind open clutches held out.
the eyes made of forgetfulness
and remembrance in equal measure –
they are beautiful.
they sing of the most beautiful fear,
the most hurting hope.
and we sing back.
me and my brothers –
we sing like we have never known death
as we hand over our hidden skin folded in half.

folded in half, we sleep in its arm
and we invent love, invent warmth,
invent meaning.
we hear it breathing.
we hear our lung collapse.
we have brought something to life again.
this machine of fear and ends –
it breathes, it tears up and cries.
i feel an ocean flowing into my eyes.
the suffocation ends.
and just like that there is
nothing of us left with us.

somewhere we will open our eyes
and stare at lips that sing of giving,
we will feel our hollow insides echo
with the memory of our own lightest steps
we will look
at the saddest sweetest children of this world
and we’ll know ourselves through it again.
we will know of the ocean in us
when it leaves our eyes.
and just like that we will be all that
we couldn’t bear to live as.

“A second before…” – Nayana Nair

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There hangs a painting of a window.
There is nailed the dream of a tree.
There is…
There…
I lift my fingers to point
at one more thing that feels like me
but there are now no opportunities
to make me understood.
A beak picks at my bones.
A dove enters my toothless mouth
and in the darkness snuggles
as only life can with death.
Yellow dahlias float in my mind
now free of its calcium cage.
I flow towards a place
where there is no need, no use of me.
I have reached a mountain
Now I have reached a gulf
I have reached now at the only moment
where I can be myself,
a second before I cease to be,
a second before I become something else.

“Morph” – Nayana Nair

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That feeling
when something of this world
rushes past you
and you are nothing else for that moment
but the afterimage of what has gone by,
something that definitely was
unlike your own self
that never appears but only haunts.

I don’t know how people cope
with that overwhelming storm
of knowing
the worlds that you can morph into
and all the things
that maybe you always were.

When you become a floating hat and its silent river,
when you become the knob of the radio,
the glass feeling the air before the snow,
the shredded corners of a letter that weeps,
the loudspeaker at the corner of the road
with its abundance of sound and silence,
the sundress peeled away,
the flow of time and fate.

I don’t know what to make of this.
I sit on tables filled with people
who know a thing or two about life
and they talk
as if they have always been their skin,
as if no one can be anything else
but themselves.
So I become the table feeling the soft elbows
pushing down some loneliness with its weight.
I become the napkin held in a fist.

I am now the sky looking down at me
and now the child that I lost long ago.
I am breaking and being taken over
by all the beautiful lonely things.
I feel I was probably made for this.

“i will come to see you again” – Nayana Nair

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and when i come to meet you
there are oranges buried in snow
and grenades in fruit bowls.
there is your smile that is locked
in a room filled with flammables
your new bedroom
you tell me as you turn away.
i take steps towards this ruined shrine
and a ghost, wearing all the dead roses of our world,
holds a spear of your name against my chest.
i step back and follow your cold body
through the corridors buried in rain.
you stop suddenly and say something
but miss it as i rush into you,
through you,
through the fragile wall and doors
of another breaking dream
and i am here again, alive and distraught
under this comfortless ceiling of reality.