“Waiting for the fireworks to end” – Nayana Nair

In her loudest, happiest voice
she told me about
one of her near-death loves,
how she wished her skin
would stop keeping her alive.
She laughed at how we both
always find something awfully painful or ugly in common,
how we should probably never call each other
just to remind each other of the spite
that lives in our blood.

I moved her lackluster glass of
fake green mojito by an inch towards her
and looked past her
at the couple who sat closest to the sky.
The wind that touched them called out to me again,
reminded me about my trembling legs
and my heart that didn’t want to give up yesterday.

I told her about the fall – my bad decision,
my backing out again at the last minute-
another really bad decision.
I told her someone needs to lock me up
before I take any more decision
as I showed her my new skinned knee
and told her in detail about
all parts of me that were filled with pain even now
only because of that one moment
in which I wanted to live more than anything.

She walked towards the the railing
decorated with hearts that won’t light
and found herself a seat, placing her elbow
carefully away from the mess that
the ones in love left behind.
She waited for me to follow her as I always do.

I stood behind her and felt a fear
very similar to mine swimming in her mind.
I wanted to tell her, it will get better.
but I couldn’t. I wanted to believe in this,
in this hope for better;
if not for me, at least for her.
And I knew she had nothing to say now
because her throat was also crowded by the words
she doesn’t believe. We are painfully alike
even in our search for hope, even when we are searching it
for each other.

“maintain my world” – Nayana Nair

and this sad premise is not a commentary
on how rotten the world is
but an observation
that we have a pattern that is hard to break.

that people often misinterpret the habit of one thing
as a proof of its superiority over everything else in world.

that words can move your heart,
sometimes for worse.
it can move you towards hatred, towards fear
towards anger that is not your own.

that the wish to be right
makes us forget how to wear someone else’s shoes
or their color or their nationality or their body.
a body that is no longer their own – now that
they are just a sack of blood, a sacrifice
to please our personal gods – our thirst of power
and the “better world” that no one else wants.

this sad premise is not a commentary
on how rotten the world is
for i do not have the courage to write the worst
or to imagine how i am right now walking
over faceless nameless beings to maintain my world
just like you.

“piano” – Nayana Nair

years from now
i hope my living room
has a space for a lovely piano.
i hope my fingers
would play something beautiful on it.
that here i would smile
and not know of the passing time.
that i would learn to love my walls
as much as the world that stands on the other side.
as my child misses me, cries for me,
tries to keep me alive when i am not,
i hope she feels this music she can’t hear,
i hope she sees the future i couldn’t finish living,
i hope she knows
that my warmth is more than my skin
and my blood running under it.

“Dissociate” – Nayana Nair

my other head
bleeds and falls off
as does my bloody knife

i can no longer call myself a victim of life
now that my sin is set in stone

few more hours for the sun to rise
few more hours i must bear the company of my face
in few more hours the world will love me
now that i look like them and kill like them
they will surely love me
for having one less brain and one less mouth

my eyes look back at me
not accusingly but with pity
of what have i done to myself
but i dare not cry
and act as if i am the one being wronged
my tears- i’ll be burying them under the red petunias
that you loved

my hearts beats furiously
as if running towards something, perhaps an end
end of me? end of her?
it feels wrong saying “her”, “you”
as if a knife is all it takes to set things conveniently wrong

i close the door and leave my open mouth
and questioning eyes on the kitchen table
i break a nail and break my heart
as i dig two graves for myself

“I don’t want to be right anymore” – Nayana Nair

I wonder
‘me being right’
at what point of time it became synonymous
to finding out that his heart is empty-
my name washed out by the waves of the other girl.
The girl whom he swore is not his type.
“I was right”, I said as my hand trembled with anger and then fear
as I waited for the reply, for the apology, a missed call
from those whom I should not forgive.
But the way my heart is breaking
if only they would tell me that they still love me
I could have held them close to my chest
and thought of them as my family,
as the blood that I couldn’t part with.
I would have learnt to pretend
that I was born with a dagger on my back.

I was right, I understood
as I saw few more pictures not meant for my eyes.
(these days there are so many things that are not meant for my eyes),
as I try to digest the unfamiliar rage in his eyes,
as he breaks and breaks and breaks every moment we had
When I ask him “if should I stay around? if he’d change his mind?”
he tells me he doesn’t know his heart
and walks out into the night.

When I switch on the TV I almost expect to find
my name in red, my body in red
laying on the carpet that he loved
but had to ruin for a good cause, for a greater love.
This me, my death must be side effect of his love.
His love is all that matters now.
His love is not our love.
Our love is an obstacle to the happiness he can almost reach.

She calls me up again
to tell me how to gracefully give up.
I hear him behind her, I feel his despair in her voice.
(Must be true love.)
I hear him hum a song in the background,
a song that I have never heard.
I hear the ruffle of his clothes
that he moved from our life to her home
one betrayal at a time.
I hear what I don’t want to hear,
what I always knew-
they don’t want my forgiveness
even if I gave it for free,
I must mend my life by myself.
No past love will do it for me.

“Delicate” – Nayana Nair

On Sundays, I wear the purple summer dress
that I once promised myself I would never wear.
I paint my nails, I color my lips, and I open the windows in me.
I become someone I was taught to hate, I try to break
my hatred with my smile.
I let myself be reigned
by the greed for beautiful, sweet, shining things.
I think of all the things I have tried not to want.
I let myself be the delicate vulnerable woman
that is easy to love, easy to idolize,
easy to abuse, easy to blame, and easy to hate.
I tell myself that it is not my fault,
but the more I live the harder it becomes to believe it.
I fall asleep on the floor where first I tasted blood,
wondering why I can never give up on this dress, this dream
that has given me nothing but hurt.

“The last brick is in my heart” – Nayana Nair

In every country, in every city,
on every street
stands a home that could have been ours.
I am a daydreamer like that
As I passed the house with an always crying child,
as I passed the house with the overwhelming smell of incense,
as I passed the house with singing reality shows played on repeat
I only thought of the life we could have there.
In my mind, we fit every house, we fit every role.
Even if our body was stripped of every muscles and every bone
even if we put back together the wrong way,
even if we our heart were to be rearranged,
in my mind we would still fall in love.
That is how we had molded the spirit of our love-
to be stubborn (if not right or just).
But now there are years when I don’t remember you,
and yet there is no sadness in me that is capable of ruining me.
You are gone
and I am trying to grieve for something I don’t particularly miss.
As I pass the houses where our stories used to be staged
I realize they are again the buildings of strangers
that I am supposed to keep my mind away from.
My sadness selfishly keeps uttering,
“I need to love someone, someone who won’t do this to me.
I need to love someone, to believe in love again.”
I reach home with bloody nails and bruised fingers
leaving behind bricks with our names scratched out.

“Sense of Urgency” – Nayana Nair

Today I realized
what to call all that I have been reading for so long.
A person I didn’t mean to overhear called it ‘a sense of urgency’-
the desire to save this world as soon as possible.

It seems the enemies are too many.
I saw many names in the list of these enemies
that I silently agreed with-
pollution, dictatorship, bullying,
monetization of education, competing in a rigged world,
oppression of lives and loves of minority, hate crimes,…

I scoffed at some:
the collapse of society in the hands of socially withdrawn,
collapse of economy in the hands of those who want and do less,
the unfeeling and unapologetic generation that seems to love depression,
women whose learning and thinking too much only breaks families,…

“this is the cause worth dying for”-
I suddenly became afraid of that feeling.

As I read all the absurd causes I couldn’t agree with.
As I read and became exasperated at the words of those
who were convinced that they knew better
even as they killed and killed and killed
and got addicted to seeing blood dissolving in oceans.
I realized
how dangerous this feeling could be.

“this is what to means to change the world.
to change the world
is to walk over everything I don’t want to see”
My sense of urgency hated me for thinking this.
It recited every quote about silence of good men.
But all I could now see was the line that I must not cross,
the words I must not say, the knife that I must never hold-
no matter the cause.

“Redraw” – Nayana Nair

Every time I held your hand, I felt it.
Your blood, your voice, your mind
taking a step back,
a silent declaration,
“I can only love you this much”.

~

I stood on the lines I am not meant to cross.
I shifted uncomfortably from one leg to another,
afraid what my next step could do to your heart.
Wondering how much of this distance
is due to my insignificance?
How much of its reason roots in your fears?

~

I hope I knew how to fix things
that are not broken.
I wish I knew how to erase and redraw
our painfully distant orbits.

“a proper life” – Nayana Nair

the metal melts on my tongue.
this must be the fever that everyone warned me against.
now i will never know how to die properly.

i used up every drop i could find on this planet
to make the broken trees in me grow.
and there are so many,
so many skeletons with stunted growth.

i read we need not only the sun, but also the leaves, the green
to make something that can fill our stomach.
that light by itself can only gift hope .
how long can one live on hope?
just long enough to hate everyone
who has a piece fleshy fruit stuck in their teeth.

the only way to live properly i am told
is to become the the tailcoat of someone better than me.
i must make someone’s life easy,
must become a photocopy machine for their blood,
must cry silently into the sink as i clean the dishes at night
to live a proper life.

but it is too late i guess,
i have lost the plan i was told to follow obediently,
the only color that remains on my skin are the ones i was born with,
the unflattering shape of my body
won’t be bought with the coins of love in any shop,
my finger, my unshapely hands have become un-holdable.

the adjectives, the rumors, the sad future of mine
they falls like pieces of metal on my ears everyday
and yet they are not the words i can say, or accept.
these word, this metal melts in my mouth
they say i will die a sad death,
that i will die as i have lived – by myself.