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“Stack of Books from Strangers” – Nayana Nair

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Now everything tastes like my oft-repeated past.
This bitter turn of events
has brought new meaning to my pain that I didn’t ask for.
This morning I even look like someone who needs help.

I guess I may have looked that way for a long time
in everyone’s eyes but mine.
In my eyes, I was doing better,
good enough to be not noticed and singled out.

I smiled enough to keep people from seeing
all the mess I carried in me.
But lately, strangers hand me books
to keep my sad mind busy.

Books that tell me
that it is not too late, that one at a time
I can make something out of the soil that won’t leave my skin,
the soil that I am buried under.

I want to believe in this nonsense more than anyone can imagine.
But my heart is not the same now
as it was years ago.
It no longer believes the words that feel good and hurt later.

“Last Everything” – Nayana Nair

There are bouts of tears,
phone calls,
consolation, advice,
and it ends.

The river stops
and flows again.

There are missed calls, busy tone,
letters never penned,
the sky
that didn’t shatter like glass.

The river stops
and flows again.

There is me,
there is you,
there are our days together
and the days we will never have.

Nothing ends
even if I break.
The river stops
and flows again,
even if I lose
my last breath,
my last love to it.

“Work Hard” – Nayana Nair

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We could never see each other properly
because we busy working hard,
trying day and night
to become something the other wants.
Or at least something that can’t be rejected on face
or fall short of this friendship
that we could never be sure of.
We worked equally hard
to ignore when we saw a crack in each other’s mask,
to ignore the words spoken out of character.
Somewhere we were too hollow, too materialistic, too demanding.
And we knew it was wrong.
We knew we had no right to demand.
We knew we were cruel and we knew we would be forgiven.
If not now, then someday.
Is it possible to love someone in spite of being so wrong?
Is it possible to use such pure words for a transaction gone wrong?

“Collecting Meaning and Beauty” – Nayana Nair

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I am stacked with all that belongs to you
and nothing that you have feels yours.
It is as if you were busy finding things
that didn’t look like you
and hoped that if you surrounded yourself
with all kinds of right
then your fault that people talk about
could find a mirror to fix its face.
Or maybe
you just wanted to welcome everyone in this mess,
like you welcomed me,
and leave us in this ocean of objects and words
of overwhelming meaning and beauty.
So that after an absence of million years
that ticking clock forgot to register,
when you come back to find us
and ask us how we take our tea,
we could see your meaningless broken smile
as the only hand that can save us from
losing our sense of self,
losing the idea of what we are
that we had barely put together a downfall ago.

“Recreate” – Nayana Nair

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Interior-of-Reconstructed-Dylan-Thomas-Writing-Shed-Laugharne

They recreated his room
with reverence
to his life
and his passions.
Paid attention to each small details
that can bring back who he was.
They debated over whether he would have
had photos of certain people
in the room where he wrote
or better, have crumpled paper
that got stepped over.

bfl

But to be honest
they had no idea of who he was
whatever they recreated,
was not him.

bfl

Maybe his poems were just pieces of him
that he either rejoiced
or loathed.
I believe there must be parts of him
that he was not aware of,
parts of him that he never got to pen,
which he was too busy to ignore.
What if his life was not worth the show?
What if he could only be himself
outside that room?

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