“nothing more, nothing else.” – Nayana Nair

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the last time i was young,
i was as young as the numbers i colored
on his last birthday card.
i remember the burning of birds
that followed our song of hope.

since then nothing was the same.
“the innocent” and “the sweet”
were the monsters that we killed
in the forests that grew in our house.
we killed a lot. we killed plenty.

hours swelled into years into decades
at every tear i tried to hide.
everything i tried to hide
grew as me, grew into me.

he grew into half a monster of kindness.
he devolved into an angel wielding my fear with smile.
it was the truest of love, without any doubt.
it was the only love of the world. the only one i would ever have.
knowing that helped. it helped me wish for nothing more, nothing else.

i grew my claws into the gentlest shapes.
i grew every contradiction in subtle ways.
i grew them nonetheless. that is how i hid.
in the light of his skin, my eyes learnt to love darkness
and yet when the day came, he asked me
to become someone from his memory,
someone untouched from the poison of our world.

he would pester me like a child
to show once again the trick of undoing,
to show the skin i hid from his fear,
to show the heart that he cannot accept.

“gentle things always begged for my fury”
he had said that once.
i remember the threat that lurked under his voice,
in that moment. in that moment,
i remember curling into myself in time,
before he learnt i was all that he couldn’t stand.
i remember choosing him foolishly.
i remember the violence of being chosen.

“what has changed”
i ask in my newest disinterested voice
and he smiled as if he was really not here.
his eyes looked at me as if i was already long gone,
as if he knew my every truth.
he reached out his hand and instead of new blood
i felt his new breaking.

“for a minute i am tempted to believe in this world”
he said in the voice we used to sing all our songs in.
and because i knew better. because i knew fear.
because i couldn’t lose my hidden flesh of hope
to entertain his momentary half-hearted wish to reform
i replied “there is nothing to believe.
there is only blood and flesh and lifeless spoils of war in me.
do you want to be free of me now?
why are asking for things i can never be, never give?”

i feigned hurt and looked at him
till he had to look away and laugh.
his laugh was filled, was welling
with something unfamiliar.
he looked in every direction but mine
as if letting me breathe in the relief of not being found
and the breathe out the disappointment of losing something unreachable again.
but i didn’t dare to breathe.

“What I Remember (27)” – Nayana Nair

i think this suits me most-
to lose myself
and yet look okay.
god gave me a face that always looks okay
even when i don’t want it to.
(there have been only handful of days
when i want to look as miserable i am.)

i wonder how it feels
to say
“do i look broken today yet?
“i cried all night”.
i have never cried at nights.
i have never skipped a meal for my sorrow.
i feed my heart too much fats
and instant unhealthy happiness.
i cut down my green trees
and kill few birds, make a fresh trap
that smiles through my gaping wound.

i live life the only way i can.
look okay cause all parts of me are
still working fine.
god gave me a heart that doesn’t break
the conventional way.
i walk this world fearing this heart
the most.

“Half-Hearted” – Nayana Nair

And every morning I hear wind, I hear birds,
I hear children play around in me.
I am filling myself
with everything that reminds me of what I really am.
I let my heart do what it wants,
my heart wants no part in this remaking of me.
It starts it’s days praying for your return
and goes to sleep, thankful that you won’t.

“Part and Parcel” – Nayana Nair

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That day when it rained of
bruised and dying birds
of feathers marked with colors only
an arrogant and confident cruelty can cause,
everyone looked about for an umbrella
to protect themselves from this vision
that they didn’t want to witness.
This was not the historic moment
that they wanted to be part of.

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I could understand their willingness to believe
that the marks of fingers in the blood and bodies
that filled up the roads
can be called natural causes.
It was probably better
than knowing the names of people whom we may have laughed with
only to know they know how to fly,
how to clip wings and suspend the decaying bodies in air
for eternities,
while we asked them the directions for our life,
while we asked them to tie up our laces as a child,
while we asked them to love us, and build a new life.

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I guess even the innocent
got fed up of being looked at like a potential danger
or tired of looking for one.
It was probably more convenient to come to an understanding,
of agreeing on a made-up fact
that this all is part and parcel of being a bird in the sky,
that birds should know better than to fly,
and tempt innocent humans into life of crime.
Birds at their best should just chirp joyfully
and let everything slide.

“More or Less” – Nayana Nair

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It was more or less like waiting
Only there was no excuse of distance between them
Though they walked hand-in-hand,
they knew
this was not all they could be.
Just like noises of traffic merging in the call of birds.
They knew the love they want and the love they have
was not so much different.
It was more or less the same.
Or at least they soon will be.
It was not a question of which person.
It was a question of
how much,
how long.

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And they have not lived an eternal life
to believe in eternal love.
But they kept it in mind
played with this idea,
scrutinised it,
made fun of it,
wished for it.

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As they wait for their love to
become bigger than themselves,
they have no choice but to be who they are
and live the life they know.
Soon this love will numb their pain.
But it takes time for poison to work.
But it will.
It always has.
Poison, too, can be a medicine.
It is just a matter of
how much,
how long.