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.

“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.”

“Don’t tell me” – Nayana Nair

Unlike your descriptions,
the green doesn’t wait for the sun.
It doesn’t know what waiting is,
what the word ‘sun’ is, it doesn’t even know
that you are the its spokesperson.

I am not coming at your throat dear,
it’s just that
I feel, as time passes
that you see me more as that green
than your woman.

You cut my sentences
and give me used bottles of perfumes, of love
that I must wear.
The only thing you tell me about your day
is how women dote on you
and place you first in the list of men to seduce.

I remember I once said,
“please don’t tell me, i don’t want to know”
and you glared back,
lectured me on openness and honesty and strength of love.

“i don’t want to know”
I said it only once,
because my I was afraid to say it ever again.
And in my unreasonable fear, I understood
that in this life of pretend, I had also begun
to see you as another sun,
even when you are not.

So, I am not coming at your throat dear.
I am try to free myself from your hold,
from your twisted idea of love,
that is messing with my mind now.
I am someone without you as well,
and I don’t want to be convinced that I am not.

“Away from the City of Saints” – Nayana Nair

so the saint i read about
walked this land,
looked at this river, looked at this sky,
and stood where I stand.

in the cases of glass there are letters,
there are feelings i cannot understand.
they say he made this place with love
here his everything ends, where his nothing began.

but the glass turned into mirrors
his writing became face of mine.
i was pricked by the bitterness
that were not supposed to be in his words.

how can he say the things we say?
how can his cruelty be pardoned for his principle?
why can i not call him hero
like i used to, like everyone still does?
why his truth makes me shrink away from every other truth?
why does his life disappoint me so much?

i came here seeking nothing
but i left losing a lot
and doubting a lot.
on my way back
i left the what he once gave me
and finally picked up what i should have.

“Empty Shells” – Nayana Nair

The list of all the words that I use and don’t know meaning of:

friend, understanding, dream, ethics,
distance, space, wait, promise,
family, kindness, virtue, trust,
love, love, love, love, love, love,
(I was told I need to be especially obsessed with love
if I want to be normal)

I, me,
memory (real or invented),
boundary between reality and fiction…

What a poor human I am
that I carry around these empty shells
pretending as if I know their worth.
All the flags that I carry
of the countries
to which I do not belong.
All the people who I live with,
only because I cannot live without them.
What an excuse to walk on this road
that will eventually to lead to a heartbreak.
Every heartbreak a drop on my window
and it has been monsoon for years altogether.
What a sloppy way to end all things
that I never wanted to begin.

“Holding onto you” – Nayana Nair

As I use your ideals and words
as the dressing to the greens that I hate,
that I find hard to chew,
I try to make myself understand you,
convince myself that I am in wrong
and I just know it yet.
I remind myself
that this time I can’t get it wrong,
that this time I can’t run from all that I have chosen.
I have lost a lot just because I wanted to live as me,
I can’t loose you as well.
When I begin to hate myself
for losing my life in your eyes,
I tell myself that one day I would thank myself
for holding onto you in spite of all.
So when I break and when it hurts,
when I see that all this is not good for me,
I crawl into your embrace
silently asking you
to tie me to yourself,
to stop me from ruining all that we have.

“Can’t Choose Something Better” – Nayana Nair

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You stand in the middle of every green field.
You stand in front of every road, every direction
that promises me something better,
a world
where the thoughts in my mind can finally settle.
But because you are here at the beginning of everything
I cannot find in myself the will
to begin anything new
and to leave you behind.

“The day we held hands” – Nayana Nair

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The silence wrapping our words
was not born out of a deed or two.
Or out of lack of love.
We didn’t wake up one day
and began feeling alone.
The day we held hands,
we felt the alienation
that only love can bring.
No great love can
change what we were.
Where the plains of our own
lives and its insecurities met
there we see a crack,
to remind us everyday
that we never fit with each other.