“prompts” – Nayana Nair

.

i think of parasols.
i think of wearing my miniature body made of colorful frills,
holding my own soft innocence,
not like something that can be and will be lost
but like something that will never be destroyed,
like something one never gives a second thought about.
i think of never knowing fatigue, never resting.
my skin only knowing the sun.
i think of classrooms fitted with air coolers
i think of home and its beautiful cold floor
i think of places i knew i could always return to
once i was done with my playing, once i felt my hunger.
i think of the time that i lived not knowing not understanding
the appeal or the need of shadows.

i think of stones.
their small happy weight in my hands.
the deftness of my fingers and my wrist as i played.
my palm holding them together,
scattering them, collecting them.
my palm feeling the coldness of the evening,
knowing time through them.
i think of the stones that grew on the sides of broken roads
beside my source of earliest magic
-the touch-me-nots, the insects made of velvet,
and the lost fireflies.
i grew up in a broken forest
wearing stones as brittle as me.

i think of fruits.
their colors that i loved
even when i didn’t like what they were.
they tasted too mellow, too tame,
too transient to me.
their juices just carved a bit more hunger
in my stomach. my stomach that was already learning
to ask for more and more.
i carved their colors in my notebook.
i dreamt of drawing them up on my skin.
this was before i knew what a tattoo was,
before i learnt the dangers of carving things in you
that you possibly can’t love.

“Stay Away” – Nayana Nair

.

Descend here
in the this pit made of fire.
Come and die here
with me
and then, only then
I will believe in your love.

I know I am made of fire
and you are nothing but wood.
I know you will burn,
I know it hurts. I can see it in your face
and that’s the appeal.
It shows that its meant to be.

There is only this love that I want.
It need not be from you.
It need not be like this.
But now that we are here
and since life is short,
I can make do with you.

I can make do with love
that looks at me
as if I have lost my mind,
as if I could be better than this.
I wonder if you could reason out all this,
I have given up long ago.
I won’t be surprised if you choose yourself
over this madness.
In fact I am sort of counting upon it.
Save yourself. Stay away.
And now don’t ever talk about love so easily.