“I can bear truth only when it is a figment of my imagination” – Nayana Nair

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Had I climbed up that mountain
I would have probably seen farther than anyone else.
There would have been roads
that clearly go somewhere.
There would have been an eroding edge
to this globe of loud wrecking dreams.
There would have been a faint hint
of a beautiful eye crying behind a rising cloud.
I would have looked down and searched
and in not finding myself
I would have been happy for a while.
But in a moment that is spelled
with the same frustrated relief
as finding my glasses at the most obvious place,
a peace in me would also have come to an end.
There is the roof where I wrote my life in chalk,
relying on the rain which never came.
There would be a shadow of trees, a group of animals
who refuse to call themselves by a collective noun
and they would have looked happier (probably).
There would have been a monument of marble,
the last pride and plague of ego,
taken down by the masses who moved like landslides.
I would have definitely looked for you.
After all it is what I have done most of my life.
And I would have seen you building yourself again
with your broken tools and shining blueprints.
I won’t know if you were sad or happy
and you won’t know that it mattered to me.
It would have been such a perfect distance to look at you.
A perfect distance to exist with relation to world.
But I won’t climb up there.
Just as I know so much of all that I have never seen,
I also know there is not a particle of me
that has a taste for truth.

“Shouldn’t that put me at ease?” – Nayana Nair

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The skin of the prophets and lovers
hangs with the fresh laundry.
The dices and glasses lie forgotten
in the broken and mutated stomachs of our pet fishes.
A pot of porridge sits on the blue counter.
The potatoes, the rice, the marbled peas grow soil,
grow eyes, grow tongue, grow memories that never were.
The imitations of porcelain crack under the weight of life.
It never used to be like that.

Life used to be small and delicate and beautifully framed
within the carefully drawn floral boundaries of plates,
within the pools of small spoons.
Life is no longer like that.
Now the book of tales burn
with the missing ladles
and fake money of games no one knows how to play.
Every piece of wood, every piece of our soul,
anything that burns, only burns only what we love.
Only what we love gets to die here.

Shouldn’t that put me at ease?
That something gets to escape this world.
But all that dying,
the small pieces scraped off again and again.
Isn’t that how we got to this-
this place where even pain is dull,
where even the hopelessness doesn’t come with a heartbreak.

“prompts” – Nayana Nair

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i think of parasols.
i think of wearing my miniature body made of colorful frills,
holding my own soft innocence,
not like something that can be and will be lost
but like something that will never be destroyed,
like something one never gives a second thought about.
i think of never knowing fatigue, never resting.
my skin only knowing the sun.
i think of classrooms fitted with air coolers
i think of home and its beautiful cold floor
i think of places i knew i could always return to
once i was done with my playing, once i felt my hunger.
i think of the time that i lived not knowing not understanding
the appeal or the need of shadows.

i think of stones.
their small happy weight in my hands.
the deftness of my fingers and my wrist as i played.
my palm holding them together,
scattering them, collecting them.
my palm feeling the coldness of the evening,
knowing time through them.
i think of the stones that grew on the sides of broken roads
beside my source of earliest magic
-the touch-me-nots, the insects made of velvet,
and the lost fireflies.
i grew up in a broken forest
wearing stones as brittle as me.

i think of fruits.
their colors that i loved
even when i didn’t like what they were.
they tasted too mellow, too tame,
too transient to me.
their juices just carved a bit more hunger
in my stomach. my stomach that was already learning
to ask for more and more.
i carved their colors in my notebook.
i dreamt of drawing them up on my skin.
this was before i knew what a tattoo was,
before i learnt the dangers of carving things in you
that you can’t possibly love.

“Sunrise on your soft cheeks” – Nayana Nair

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The ends get broken here.
The land gives away.
I walk forward, asking the sea
what it wants to take from me.
Where should I cut myself,
what part should remove of me
that you would feel like home in me.
How should I hold you
so that you may sleep in peace.
What name shall I call you by?
What sound do you want to answer to?
Ask for whatever can keep you alive
and I will find it for you. I will make myself
into your wishing tree.
The ends break here. The ends cannot exist,
cannot breathe in me.
From my broken land you are born
and from my broken love you shall grow
and find places to breathe in every crack of this world.
Hold out your soft hands
and bless me my-center-of-universe,
smile at me my little god.
I need only that, only your existence
to know of peace.

“How to guard the doors and fail miserably” – Nayana Nair

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It is not the night that brings in the monsters.
They are just creatures, just nature-
that exist outside the door that you are guarding.

They come in because this world is theirs as well.
They come in because they can,
just like how you can go out.
This is the fair deal you don’t want to exist.

At least they do not look for you,
they do not mark your picture
and throw darts at it.
I love them for that,
for the lack of vicious premeditation,
the lack of fun in their delivery of hurt.

The river of pills that flows into my window
has nothing to do with them.
The hurt that keeps you awake,
the nails that slowly make marks
on the surface of your eyes

this ruined place, this brokenness
are always the gifts of the ones
who look like us.
This has nothing to do with the monsters.
This has nothing to do with nights.

But has knowing such things ever helped.
The days are just as frightful as nights.
Now anything that looks like me,
and everything that doesn’t –
they are possible ends of me.

Now I must either run away from everything
or must end up loving them all, forgiving them all –
this broken temple of knowledge, this fake shallow sacred unions,
these glorious wretched feelings that won’t let me remain me.
How far should I run. How foolishly should I love.
How do I decide.

“Our knowing of faith” – Nayana Nair

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“What do you know of prayers?” she asked,
as she held my hands together within her own.
I asked her “Don’t you know anything about me?”
and there appeared another crack on her hands,
there bloomed another rose in her hair
there was another smile – the “looking down” smile,
“you don’t know any better” smile,
“you will soon thank me” smile,
“I know you hate my smile” smile.
I tried to imitate it, to drape it on my own face.
Cause even if it didn’t seem like that, I loved her smile.

I stared at her smile
wanting to save it somewhere in me. I stared
at her small beautiful parts
wanting to un-see the person she is in this moment.
I am always trying
to forget how suffocated these moments with her are.
I am always trying to forget
that with her words of love there was always a plea,
a suggestion, a manipulation – to make me something like her.

Would it make me seem pathetic, petty, or romantic?
if i called her a poison. Though everyone here is a poison,
even me, but she is a poison for me, the only poison
that works on me. The only one I didn’t want a death from.
She tells me about another deity I will never believe in.
She tells me a bit more about saving, about faith, about her own self
that can never be broken, how even breaking can’t end her now.
I wished she was right, I wished there would be never an end to her.

I wished for all kinds of ends for myself,
even the ones without her. But in no version
did I invent an agreeable version of her that will better for me.
She has to be herself. Whatever that might mean for me.
I wonder if there would come a day like that, a day when
she would love me like that. Do I even want a day like that?
Can I even tolerate a change in her?
Wouldn’t that break me more than anything?

I get up and say something about “better things to do”
and she says something about “the dangers to the faithless”
and I can only smile for now
at this weird, beautiful, messed up part of our life
at our of differences, knowing of love,
at our knowing of faith in different things that save us in their own ways.

“Shifting places” – Nayana Nair

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Somewhere far away, in the early hours
a window cracks by the shrieks of a woman.

Let’s wait, let it end, it will be nothing,
it will end up like all the other things made up in my mind.

It will end, it will end –
I chant under my breath.

But it doesn’t end.
Wave after wave, it rushes towards me, to the doors of reality.

And in response something in me cries back, something in me knocks back hard.
Now all I can think is – “I must run. If I run I can reach there.

If I run fast enough there will be little blood lost,
a little mind saved. If I run, I can make it in time before the worse begins.”

But the roads keep disappearing, the houses shift places, everyone laughs a little louder
as I move forward only to be yanked back and pulled down.

There is someone far away waiting for my help
and her flesh is just as weak as mine. Her throat must be sore, her heart must ache.

I wait and cry for an eternity
before I hear everyone walk away. Before I hear hope approaching.

Hope sounds like
wheels of a bicycle and the broken whistle of a kid.

It sounds like “are you alright? aren’t you cold?”
It looks with puzzled eyes at my clothes that are somewhat not right.

It tells me universal facts like
“if you lie there either cold will kill you or a oncoming truck”

Hope tells me I am not dead yet.
I hope she is alive as well.

“Beautiful broken railings” – Nayana Nair

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I have eyes only for you.

I have broken railings,
I have erased all the warnings,
I have planted the seeds of wanting,
wanting more of you.

I have learnt to give into
the feeling,
of hoping to see and breathe
and live through
whatever it means to be with you.

Even though I am of this world
and hence hateable because of that,
guilty because of that.
Can’t you love me
as if I am the same as you?

Do you really know what I feel
when I say
I only have you.

“love me all your life” – Nayana Nair

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as his goodbye, he said to me,

“i don’t want to be yours.
but never stop being mine.
never forget me.
you promised to love me all your life.

be my happiness.
let your tears,
let my shadow reign over your heart.
be my happiness.
never chase away the rain that i am leaving in you
never look for another heart
.

be my value, be my worth,
be my pride.
you don’t have to be my love
to have a place in my life.
you can be nothing to me
and still be my treasure at the same time.

i don’t want to be yours
but it would heal my wounds, my ego
to know you will be broken without me
your brokenness will make me more complete
than your love could.”

“Rewrite love” – Nayana Nair

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How are you?
Are you still there where we learnt to leave?
Since you left
I have changed my address a few times already.
My heart doesn’t lie broken
on the streets that only you could walk.
I find it funny and interesting and sad
that once I believed in “one and only love”,
that once I believed that I have found
what the rest of the world could not.

My hands don’t feel like my hands now,
Now that my hands
have reached out for love even after you.
My mind doesn’t feel like my mind,
now that my mind can forget any hurt caused by love,
now that my mind can easily rewrite love as something else
something trivial, something passing by,
something non-existent,
the moment I am near another light-filled human
who only wants a breaking out of me.

I feel less like myself, the more I heal myself.
Whatever grows out of me
doesn’t want to be anything like the person you loved,
the person I was so proud to be,
the person who couldn’t live without wounds.

It hurts less in the body I am now in.
It hurts less to know finally
that I am more than enough
to fill the void of my own size – the everyday lacking
that I always felt I needed to do something about.

I find it funny and interesting and sad
that I could learn to live only by losing you,
by learning to walk away from you.