“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.

“blue dreams and railroads” – Nayana Nair

.

so my blue dream
is not even mine now.
i am just a mesh of people who hate me.
their fingers are my fingers now
poking my skin, endless railroads of red are built
with their nails that they do not even cut
before they sell me their fake love-filled eyes.
their eyes are my eyes
that wants to smash every reflective surface where i fall.
every reflective thought is just a poison.
a poison, a gossip, an untrue version of me running wild
in the minds of those who look at me.
they gossip about me
so i gossip about myself ,
whisper my secrets into the air
or better, into the ears of lovers who are chosen
especially for their talents in indifference,
vulnerability, and emotional violence.
lovers who can break me – are all that i want.
i need someone else to do this breaking for me
because i am coward who can’t move towards the end i want,
and also because my hands are busy.
i have more things to do.
i need my hands to tear my talents apart
in the name of value, tear my feelings apart
in the name of my worthlessness.
i need my hands to paint again and again.
paint indifferences on my insecurities
that come a bit too often to the surface of my skin now,
paint laugh lines on the bleeding corners of my lips,
paint dreams of love, moments of hurt, grand betrayals
on my otherwise lonely mind,
paint humans that match the shadows in me,
painting causes and assurances.
i must paint.
i must paint a reason-
a reason why i suffer so,
why this world works like how it does,
why i must break as the world breaks,
why i must break even for fixing this world.
i must paint a face
so that others don’t break at the sight of my face.
i clip my nails everyday
so that when i become someone’s ghost
when someone suffers because of me
at least my hands won’t leave them scars.

“Asking for More” – Nayana Nair

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The lost all gather
at the same door as I.
They shout, yell and cry.
Praise and tell lies.
To be taken in.
To be cared for.
To be chosen.
To be looked at, even once.

Do they also feel smaller
for standing here and waiting,
for asking things whose void eats you up.
This void
that has a fondness, an appetite
for the ones who can’t unlearn caring.
Which becomes bigger
feasting on the silent phone,
on unifinished conversations,
on the hollow rumours, on the dirt on your name,
smeared by people
who know better
but continue to do worse.

The void for things,
that even when attained,
outgrows the want that creates it.
Is there anyone
who has got what he asked
and stopped asking for more.
Who has found himself
by asking and pleading for acceptance,
by being nice and patient,
by cutting themselves up
to fit the template
of someone else’s ever growing void.