“Running Barefoot” – Nayana Nair

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He was somewhere upstairs
running barefoot on the dusty floors
of the broken house.
I could hear him
even when I stood waiting in the backyard
staring at all the rusty memories,
feeling the stare of people who will never leave this place,
who may never leave me again
now that I fear them for never actually dying.
I tried not to love him
as I stood alone waiting for him to get bored of all this.

I was too afraid to be with him
when he was like that.
when he read aloud poems
about death out of the blue,
and read them as if they were the only true declaration
he could make to the world,
the only true word that he could say to his life.
I would only later find out
that they were written by someone else –
someone who lived in a difficult to pronounce country.
He loved things like that –
taking up the clothes of emotions of others
and wrapping himself up in them
as he walked into all the unknown lives
that oddly had a room reserved just for him.

And always, I would be outside
waiting for the sun to set, for his heart to ease,
to be there when he decides to come back to reality for good.
I didn’t realize that footsteps had ceased long ago,
and so had his breath.
So I stood there letting my heart run barefoot
on the floor of delusion, in the world where he exists.
I waited for my love to give up on him.
I was afraid of being me
when my love stop, won’t look back at me.

“Red Gates” – Nayana Nair

I drowned the flowers
one by one.
The poison of beauty
now runs through the rivers
on this land,
they fill his backyard
in every season of rain.
A child with his smile
drowns another boat of dreams,
the flood is a field of paper,
the flood is all that is left of me.
She stares into me,
waiting for a reflection to surface.
She walks into me
to see where I end.

She tells me about the boy
she can’t love and the boy
she can’t blame
as I dissolve and submerge
the red gates of her house,
the garden of forgiveness,
her school shoes, all roads to her friend
who doesn’t smile back anymore,
the spoons that remind her of hunger
for farthest worlds and people.

She asks me how deep will be this pain
of losing herself, how long she would have to smile
through this hate.
I flow into her heart,
wondering, if there
I could turn back to the flower I was,
if the end of my hate could be
the end of her pain.
If I could be her answer of hope.

“Change Me” – Nayana Nair

the doors, the light falling on us,
the grass that grew by the roads that we walked,
the flowers in our backyard,
everything.
you changed everything.
you filled everything with so much light
and drew every object around you
with such intense colors
that I had to love you.

but you could not change me.

my heart stirred in its sleep
but never wanted to wake up and decide.
i am not dragging you down for what happened.
i am not saying that you were enough.

i am saying that it was your benevolence-

how you never tried to take this fabric of my skin
and sew it something that would fit you,

how you remained the wide blue sky
and how i remained a small disappearing brook,

how my heart felt small to even hold an essence of you,
how i feared to lose you,

how i wanted to lose you for once,
to be free from this fear

that is what drove us apart.

some days i wished for you to fall into me,
to make me something more than i am.
some days i wished i never met you,
never became aware with how small i am.

“For you to disappear”- Nayana Nair

When the wind blows
there are no branches to shake,
no windows to rattle,
no forgotten clothes to be abducted from my backyard,
no ghost songs to invite me to new nightmares.
Only your imagined face,
that looks nothing like you these days,
in these lifeless eyes
keeps flickering.
Making you almost real,
making me wonder
what is the distance in time
that I must travel,
how much should I age,
how much should my mind wither,
for you to disappear?
How many sins I should commit
so that my hands are not stained
only by your tears.

“Dreaming of Love” – Nayana Nair

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If we were not here,
if we were not conveniently together,
but lived in places far apart
with only a bleak memory,
our companion,
the proof of our time together.
If we could not hear
each other’s voice everyday
but carry each other’s whispers
in the folds of our skin.
Do you think
we could have known each other better?
Do you think
we could have loved better,
By being far away?

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These arms that ache
by holding each other tighly,
in some other time,
in some other place,
may have yearned for a mere touch.
In that world,
I imagine myself
sitting in my backyard.
Looking at the never ending rows
of trees that I cannot name.
And wonder if our separation
will be as long as the life of these trees.
Will these silent friends of mine, these trees,
in this lifetime
know my happiness to have found you at last
as they have known my long wait?
I feel in some other world,
we exist like that,
our love exists like that.
I feel they must be dreaming of love
that we have right now.

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