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“Luminous” – Nayana Nair

The night doesn’t quite reach my land.
There are columns and mountains of light
that my people have given themselves to.

I never roll down my windows.
There is a scent of death in the air.
I don’t want to remember
how burning is painful.

In my mind I run towards the memories
of my perspective correction classes.
I pick out a card, a line that works the most
“burning is luminous”.

Yes, burning is lumious.
Burning is magic, burning is beautiful.
It is beautiful as long as I don’t hear the cries
of one being burnt. It is magic
as long as I don’t ask
for confirmation of my worst fears being true
from the others who never open their windows.

There is red in the news no one talks about,
there is red in the names that disappear over night,
there is red splattered inside the world in my head
but the world is suspiciously clean even when all I smell is death.

When I close my eyes, it is never dark.
Something burns before me, I am always aware of it.
I wonder if I would ever know sleep again.

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