“today’s weather is fashioning a hollow revenge out of my sorrow” – Nayana Nair

.

“all those creatures of rotten wings
that circles above us,
not even waiting for our death,
not even the basic respect for a life
hanging by its broken teeth
on the clothes line of memory
in the unwelcome worrying winds
of this world,
what if we get to them first,
what if we didn’t use our last breath
to remember our love, to seek the god we never bothered
to think about in life, to raise our hands to give forgiveness,
to the ones who are already fighting over our funeral cost, to sit
by the trashcan fishing out and reviewing
our stories, our lives, only to let out a sigh,
always a sigh.
what if we take out the meanest arrow
in our anger filled, no-longer-shaking arms
and shoot them down, not even bothering
with threats and pleadings. what if we end things
with the sky lit in red. what if we end
it all ourselves. without wait. it sounds clean, mean,
and better. better than all the things
we are allowed to do with our last drop of strength.”

“what’s the meanest arrow you’ve got?”

“Getting better and better” – Nayana Nair

.

I don’t trust myself with water these days. Of late I have found my arms devoid of the will to struggle. I seem to be getting better and better at abandoning myself.

I now only stand rooted at places where life comes easy. I only linger in spaces where not-breathing is more difficult than breathing. Against my best efforts, all I do is try to live.

The ways to live, the painful familiarity of the world, this stone stuck in my shoe, pressing against my sole, it all used to be unbearable. For long I tried to find a way to live with it. I always failed to find its use.

But now I know how to surround myself in the suffocation of it all, to fill my mind with the smoke of this crude life as I learn to see from scratch again. Hold parts of me captive somewhere, till the rest of me can chip away at my spirit that only sings of blood and end.

Today, in the hot summer afternoon, covered in breaking illusions, I walked away from the lake where my past swims. I learnt of one more pain. I found a road I had never seen, a garden never tended to, a foot of mountain where there was abundance of fruits and all new reasons to live.

“he, whose hands only know how to build. he, who only remembers grace.” – Nayana Nair

.

there is a garden
wilting and blooming
in the most lovely ways.

your hands water them,
bring them up
in the softest light.

in the dying wind
you teach them love
and the geography of pain,

the correct way to place
names on lost tongues
and people in failing heart.

the world is ending
in the background
but you never take notice.

how lovely you look
as you worship this life
that has only broken you.

“framing our dreams in the living room of my life without you” – Nayana Nair

.

and hope shall play
on the beaches that you drew.
it will run
along the cold melting lands,
holding your hands,
smiling with lips
that curve like mine,
that opens like yours.
a song shall arrive in the air
a laughter, a tear will arrive in our hearts
again to knock, again to let in life.
we will look at our skin
that breaks in the same design
and we will rejoice.
we smile about something
that was once insufferable.
we will hold each other
laughing about how
nothing can make us
let go, nothing can make us
give up on this.

“Because anyway I had already lost myself in more ways than I had ever imagined” – Nayana Nair

.

My tiny life holding its tiny fist
stood at the gates of a thatched school.
The broken lies and lesson flew out of windows
with their sharp painful wings.
And though my heart despised such birds,
hated the thought of growing
in the presence of their mocking chirps,
I still walked. I walked
because the winds were strong,
and my eyes were pricked with the image
of the ones with warm leaving in hurry,
because i too wanted
to be at a place where “i need to be”
even if it was filled with cruel noise,
even if my skin was shrinking in fear,
and maybe precisely because I was going to lose myself
some part of me wanted to know who would care.
I walked towards walls, windows, and wells closed (for now).
I looked in and saw faces and their lips
that sculpted words without breaking.
I looked at the empty place waiting for me.
I could already see – my bending spine and twisted tongue.
I could feel my heart already learning not to care anymore.

“the eyes they can’t stop looking into” – Nayana Nair

.

the dirt on my clothes-
the white muslin
and the brown
chewed words,
the earth dripping.
its spots, that i dare not touch,
they seep in,
seep into the revolting blanks in me.
the tireless cutters of trees,
the sleepless lumberjacks in me,
look up at my skin and its new ink
they stop
and breathe in some understanding.
they choke on it, they sleep on it
they carve it
on everything they have destroyed.
they have new gods again.
gods that they will never pray to
nor please. the gods
they can’t ever leave.

“By holding you back” – Nayana Nair

.

And what do I desire
when I plant my body
in the path of storm,
when I place my hand
on your ailing nerve.

The ideas of gaining,
of becoming, of light –
the unholy invasive light
claiming all my hiding spots,
why do they seem to not matter.

The slow definite end
that I looked forward to,
whose hopes I relied on
to just breathe,
why does it seem hateful
when you are the one
moving towards it.

When my skin knows every surface
your struggling hands have grazed,
when I know sometimes
one cannot just go on,
why do I feel this all is unfair
when you are the one
who yearns to dissolve.

“When we all meet” – Nayana Nair

.

The silence was deafening
because there were people in it.
There was a tiny space made of granite,
a smallness born out of the spacious halls
now crowded with people.
the air stale with staring. The long moments
of confused and alienating gazes.
The wait. And for what?
Everyone knew they must speak,
only then a god will be formed,
only then we’ll have a reason to meet again.
But they were afraid of everything.
which was not really a problem.
They also felt among many other things
that only they felt and knew fear,
that fear kept only them as a pet to be played with.
They felt good and miserable when they though that.
They also felt special.
And because we were all special and doomed
and carried poetry in us to be looked at, to be listened to
we all stood there staring.
We stood shoulder to shoulder, sorrow to sorrow
trying prove to others that we knew life,
and that once, once we really did live.
But all we were seeing and feeling
under our feet, in the hollow of our hands
was that place, the house on the slippery slope,
the home we could never leave.
We were all there alone. Trying to avoid the weight
of another person who might just end it all for us
by saying something stupid as
“you are a bit too much for me”
and “this generation is not capable of love”
and “poverty is a state of mind”
Or something as true as
“this was a bad idea”,
“you do know that we will never meet again, don’t you?
at least we are all praying for that.”

“the door opens, and i let in whatever comes in, whatever comes back” – Nayana Nair

.

a rose sits at the center of the table.

the surface of wood is sinking,
going under, losing the feeling of its own legs.

everything that i pick up from the world
(the alien objects with the scent of decaying lemon)

their destination is this – this piece of furniture.
everything in this one room life can trace its origin back,

back to a person who is not me. i have been gifted life
and the tools to live. i have been gifted the recipes-

the best way to mix, bake, boil, and burn. every surface of rest
speaks and has a face, their face. their face frowns

at the taste of food i make and my inability to eat. the three meals i cook
never reach my stomach. i can only hope for sleep after these

pointless rituals of remembrance. hunger
is the last thing on my mind. on the mornings when i wake up

with eyes open for a change, i see the clutter for what it is. i see
the shrine and offerings and gods of past. i feel i am not really praying

but begging them to come back. “how to revive a god, how to be looked at again”
these are the thoughts that flood in me

every time an offering is rejected, every time the room remains dead.
the door opens only for me, only by me. a rose again breathes its last

in my hand. there is life i realize. there is life everywhere. but also
there is the end to it. both cannot be had at will.

the wait for both is never without pain.

“To stay” – Nayana Nair

.

The city of wax and sun was,
for the lack of better words,
like living in a home that will vanish
and does vanish-
the vanishing always a spectacle and a sorrow.
The nights were all about
breathing religiously every second
to catch a brick, a bell, a railing to hold onto,
the dear gods carved in stones,
the plate touched by my mother.
Breathing in again and again
and coming up all empty,
we used to wait for sun and dread its heat
always worried and excited
about the drops and vapors we would catch
and all that we were going to lose.
Since nothing apart from the breathing would survive,
since the new-born stone and grass
knew nothing of death or its mark,
there never was a funeral,
no graves, no photographs to devote our tears to.
All our oceans would rise within us
falling at the steps, the stones, the memories
of everything that cannot prove its reason to stay
anymore.