You stand beside the fire” – Nayana Nair

In the rubble with nerves hiding sparks,
in the nest of sleeping explosives,
again it is you.
Again you are here to prove something
by doing something unasked for.

You build a place for warm tea,
for all our shivering ghosts to haunt.
You place the chairs that are not chairs
but buckets that cannot hold anything now.
There are chairs that are lying around just fine
but you want don’t them.
You don’t want the old purposes eating away
the beauty of all that is left behind.

You console the ones holding onto what is no longer there
but you don’t want the ones who want way back to what it was.
You ask us questions with your bleeding lips
you want us to answer with something real,
not just words.
“You are cruel”,
you laugh when we say that.
You make us leave everything we are
just so that we can finally sit on empty buckets
thinking about the hands we cannot hold,
thinking about hands that are no longer hands.

“The city is no longer burning”, you tell us
as you place our empty glasses in front of our empty eyes
and tell us it is fine if we don’t believe it now.
“Sleep. Dream and stay for a while with the molten and bombed,
the lost and the dead that still have your heart.
Take your time.”

As we lay awake in our heart-wrenching grief,
as we lose ourselves to your favorite world of sleep,
you stand beside the fire
that keeps us alive.
You stand beside the fire
that is not actually fire
but your heart
that burns like sun.

We wanted to tell you, “You are kind.
You are too beautiful for this world.
Have our heart and burn it instead.”
But we couldn’t .
We knew these things were easy only in words,
that these were things we couldn’t do, yet.
That we have not smiled and laughed with bleeding lips,
helping while being hated.
That we were too selfish to be you.

“The only way to be complete” – Nayana Nair

I sit on the cold boulder
and film everything, just like I am told.
I am told, only for today,
I should stop sewing myself up haphazardly,
messing up the live-stream,
and talking about things that will never happen.
I have been told to put a hold
on the wonderful manipulation that does no good
to any effort my mind puts
in fixing things back.

My mind doesn’t like me much, understandably.
And I don’t like the idea of fixing anything- a harder concept.
Maybe that’s why I burn as my mind looks around me.
Maybe I should actually stop, when I am told to
but I don’t want a way out, I don’t want to look.

“i promise not to hurt anyone but me”
“i am fine like this. don’t take my tears seriously.”
“please don’t mind the doctor’s note.”
“please don’t mind the smoke in this room,
it is a temporary solution to my emptiness,
till something worse comes along.”

There is an exit sign that flies far away from me.
There appears a road
that it eats itself up .
There are bridges that I have cried over
and the fires that no longer burn.
Everything of beauty that I had in me
I have lost it here.
I have burnt my body, nerve by nerve,
for the sake of peace and love.
Let me live here
near the ashes of my past selves
near the life that cannot be,
around things that can’t be helped.

“one more person” – Nayana Nair

the one thing i can’t be
is honest.

though there are many other adjectives
that stare at me
from their balconies at midnight
as i walk and crawl through the dirt road,
through the pool of lights,
crying and shouting and breaking dreams
in every home that i pass by.
i hear them shaking their heads
with disapproval and hopelessness.
i look at their hazy shadows
and try to hate them in equal measures
but i don’t
because they are so easy to forget.

but this honesty,
this honesty that people expect
vexes me.
this expectation
makes me want to hide, run, run over their hearts
all because it is so simple.
all because the ones who ask me of this
through their tears
are not mere observers
but are the ones struggling to stay close to me
fighting the unnecessary sandstorm i create everyday.
they are the ones who deserve honesty.
they are the ones i don’t deserve.

but my dishonesty is not only for this world.
it is the only thing i can offer to myself as well.
so again, i wake up in their arms
with another lie ready on my lips.
i hug them with with my true love and my false heart.

i don’t try to make it right
when they are in shambles again
because there is no fancy way to put it,
there is no beauty in what i do,
there is no promise i would keep.
there are only people who i leave.
even when i can’t bear to miss one more person again.

“a way out” – Nayana Nair

I saw you
in a moment abandoned by every story.
I saw you
slowly circling the window of life
to find a way in.
I watched you,
waited for you
as I lay on the painful bed of abandon,
as I wrote my hundredth song
on the beauty of giving up.
With my eyes glued to you
I ate another scoop of air
and lied about the sweetness it fills me with.
I wondered
what a person like you would think of me.
As you flit across my only sky
I can’t help but hope for you,
hope to be like you.
I also can’t help
but hope to be free from you.
To wake up to a frozen window
with nothing to stop me from…

“What I Remember (22)” – Nayana Nair

Was it 5 years ago, or 6
that we all sat together
looking at the bright beginning
of another series of setbacks
that we were becoming.
The coldness of the wood,
the ruffle of papers, the moment before
we learned to truly hate ourselves.

I miss that.

As we stood waiting in line
for something to take away
everything we were just beginning to see,
I remember thinking,
“I wish I could spend my youth here.
In this moment, with these people.
I am nothing to them, they are nothing to me.
But we are good for each other.
This can never be made again.”
At that moment I knew
they will make my heart ache
for a long time.

In the years that followed
I saw them,
the people who carried the faces
of the ones
I liked enough not to love.
“What’s wrong?” I wanted to ask them
but all I could do was smile
and let my smile tell them
“I will see you for what you were.
At least that I can do for you.
The beauty of your innocence and hope
I will remember it forever.”

“What I Remember (20)” – Nayana Nair

I am told I am not wise,
that I do not have the intellect
that could make anyone swoon over me.
I try too hard, put too much effort
to be considered worth protecting.
I rank even lower on the stats of beauty.
I know that since I have found discarded papers
written by boys-who-will-always-be-boys
who document my plummeting desirability religiously.
But since I am not the type to conform
(tsk tsk…so many vices)
I cannot help but choose to take on the role
of the bitter girl
and judge in my mind everyone
who cruelly prosecutes me in jokes and harmless fun in my absence,
but are kind enough to leave behind enough clues
for me to figure out where I must stand in this world.

It has become my habit to consider them desperate,
manipulative and not worth my time or attention.
I know now, how to look down on everyone who looks down on me.
It’s a wonderful feeling really.
To feel like a flawed monster with some control.
To be free from the want to be understood by the “cool” people.
To stop expecting for things to change.
I have enough paranoia and enough stubbornness
to last this lifetime.
I have enough reasons to hate passionately all those who hate me.
I may know too less about life,
I may underestimate the phrase “but-tomorrow-you-might-need-them”
but I cannot turn my other cheek
and I cannot let myself want to be a friends/minion of theirs.
My heart may be dissolving in my own acidic hate for this world
But at least I know I took on my own side in all my fights.
I may not expect much from world, but expect a lot from myself.
This is the bare minimum I can do
to preserve myself in this world that changes everyone in the name of fun.

“I can be your helpless angel” – Nayana Nair

I place broken glass of every color at your feet.
I know how you loved the way they looked.
I will re-create every beauty that you asked for,
I will make them incapable of the danger that you fear.
So that you can walk in this unsettling world,
walk over every broken glass.
I can draw a faceless person to walk by your side,
so you don’t have to feel sorry
when you forget their names
or when they forget you.
It is a world you can never be in
but I will draw it anyway,
because this world that I don’t want for you
is the only world that can make you happy.

“What I Remember (11)” – Nayana Nair

beauty may be only skin deep
but lack of it goes deeper than that.
so deep
that you end up learning to want things
that you wouldn’t otherwise even think about.
i wish i could remember every face
that was surprised to know
that i am okay with looking older than i am,
surprised that i do not want to exorcise fats
especially when i have got so much of it.
every morning i wake up
they hover over me like faceless shadows
with black markers, drawing over my body
showing me all that is wrong,
giving me tips so that i can become easy to look at,
hiding their superficiality under the wraps of concern,
whispering how thick-skinned i am when i don’t listen
and wondering what is wrong with the ones who love me.
it made me wonder
that maybe going under the knife
wouldn’t be as bad as being smeared black by markers.
that maybe i am supposed to love myself
only after the world approves of the ‘me’ that i want to love.
i would have understood if they cared,
if they actually meant good,
but they don’t
because they know nothing more than my name
and they say my name only with heart-breaking adjectives and assumptions.
i want to say they are wrong,
but i have suffered their gaze for so long
that sometimes i end up sharing their hatred of me, of what they see.
there are days that i obsess over a passing comment.
there are days i beat up myself for being like this.
i starve and fail,
i try to get over their words and fail,
i try to hate myself and fail.
i want to say it doesn’t matter
but it does
because i am tiring myself out
by trying to see something good in me,
by apologizing to myself,
by trying to save my heart
while they burn my body in the woods.

“Collecting Meaning and Beauty” – Nayana Nair

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I am stacked with all that belongs to you
and nothing that you have feels yours.
It is as if you were busy finding things
that didn’t look like you
and hoped that if you surrounded yourself
with all kinds of right
then your fault that people talk about
could find a mirror to fix its face.
Or maybe
you just wanted to welcome everyone in this mess,
like you welcomed me,
and leave us in this ocean of objects and words
of overwhelming meaning and beauty.
So that after an absence of million years
that ticking clock forgot to register,
when you come back to find us
and ask us how we take our tea,
we could see your meaningless broken smile
as the only hand that can save us from
losing our sense of self,
losing the idea of what we are
that we had barely put together a downfall ago.

“Not Worthless” – Nayana Nair

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A morning creeps up in my heart
and I think this is your doing.
But you do not know
and probably you never will
that any window that you open for me
will be another measure of my failure for me.
This beautiful world
can only keep me entertained for so long.
The positive attitude that everyone
keeps talking about
and eyes that I have heard
can put beauty onto everything it sees-
are not something that I have.
I think I had that once,
but that was so long ago
that I do not remember whether I liked it-
living that uncomplicated life,
not having to run away from people who do good.
When was it that a good person
started to seem the most dangerous person in my mind.
When was it that I learned
to break trust of others and still not feel regret.
When was it that I learned to silence my conscience so well.
I am not asking you all these
you obviously won’t have answers
but just because you do not have answer
to questions that I have watered all my life,
doesn’t mean that I will mock your vision.
Even if I cannot do what you do,
even if I cannot be what you are
it is not because they are worthless pursuits.
It is only because I do not have the strength to paint
sunrise on the ceilings of hearts made of starless night,
like you do.