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“Virtual Image” – Nayana Nair

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the image in mirror is never formed

I copied this slowly
from my friend’s notes,
reading too much into it.

I moved my hands
over the new definition of real.

I traced the lines, the dull path of light
as faithfully as I could
but the solid blue lines of ink touch the glass
and are broken cleanly by the laws of reflection, every time.

Only I am left in this world of real stuff
tracing back the path
that only their changed selves could have taken.

But what difference does that make?
People who have changed
do they even want those old dreams?

Probably not, for all I see are points abandoned,
in the world of unpublished fiction
surrounded by crosses of dotted lines,
like the ones that are meant to be torn slowly.

the image in mirror is never formed

But it is there, in front of me.
By some miracle they exist
even when they don’t.

Doesn’t that count as real?

The emptiness in me
and in it your face.

Doesn’t that count as real?

“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.

“your desire would burn away” – Nayana Nair

i read this on a torn sheet of paper
that was lying, waiting (possibly for me?)
in that empty hall, that on a normal day has never known empty.
and being who i am, this again had to be an easy answer from a higher power.
being who i was i believed that the confusion in my mind
rocked every throne in heaven.
so again i assumed as i said i never would,
that these must be the words that could solve me.
never mind the context, never mind the book or it’s title.
there is so much missing and this paper still remains
it might mean something,
it must mean something,
everything had to mean something for me to somehow go on.
it said “your desire would burn away,
the moment you let it have your words”
so i uttered your name with the place you have in my heart.
i mustered up enough courage to speak of the place i wanted in you.
it sounded dubious and shallow.
it sounded so much like me
that i thanked myself for not saying it to you.
i made a clean tear through that piece of paper
for being too right and being too wrong
and walked away wanting now to become a better vessel,
the person on whose lips these words would really sound the way they felt
i walked away waiting for my mind and your heart
to become good enough for those feelings.

nothing burns away.

“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.

“All your cold dark songs” – Nayana Nair

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as i get inside the crowded bus,
a phone rings.
a ringtone just like yours.

has the world shrunk to the size
of the tragedy we created,
that i find you like this?

i know it is not you,
but it could be.
so i do not turn back.
it could be you,
so i try not to cry.

this is not where
walking away or breaking clean
should lead to.
at least not back to you.
at least not like this.
not on the day i finally felt
that i could move toward a new happiness.

why did you come back?
to tell me how i am not worthy of anything good?
to tell me no one can love something like me?
to tell me how thinking is unhealthy for love like ours?
to check if my skin remembers your anger?
to tell me to speak softly, to submit to your wishes
if i wish to be forgiven for your mistakes?

why did you come back,
when you don’t even want me?

“Childhood Photo” – Nayana Nair

i do not want to be a child
who thinks that the world is this window
where i wait for you to return.
but i am.

and you are also the one
who has promised to never return.
but you have made many promises
and you have broken so many of it.
i guess i am counting on you
to stay true to who you are
and break another one.

i have done well on all my exams.
i have cleaned my room.
i have eaten all the greens.
you will be able to love me now.

they say you found love late
and the ones in love never return
to the loveless families
they want to forget.
have we been forgotten?
are we your embarrassing childhood photo?

mother cries a lot these days
and so i can’t cry anymore.
i can’t cry anymore
and i hate you for taking away my tears.

“Erased” – Nayana Nair

I dreamt of a cold day,
of a gray sky,
of your warmth dissolving in air,
of your smile being erased.

I lay on your bed
surrounded by, covered in
all the clothes
you won’t ever wear.
I saw myself crying,
refusing to eat or sleep
waiting for a new world to be created
or to leave the world that I am in.

But eventually
I woke up,
I cleaned up my room,
I threw out everything
that mattered to me.
I went to shop
for a stomach that knows hunger
a heart that can forget,
a dream, a life without you.
I thought I loved you more than this.

“Stranded” – Nayana Nair

tumblr_static_28g7m6bq3p1c8w4wo88s00gk8

The tissues I have cried into
are my excuses,
to hide the clutter of calls and love I forgot to return.
Sometimes it is too late to clear the mess I made.
It is more difficult to retain my will to clean it all up,
which sort of made me guilty
of creating another sad person.
But what is another tissue in another sea.
Everyone dreams of sailing into a brighter morning
leaving behind their darkness in another’s mind.
What if I am as selfish as them.
What is another ship, another selfish wish
amidst thousand such others-
all stranded on a water-less heart
all looking for a flood, instead of directions.

“Knock” – Nayana Nair

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My life is divided into different rooms
as is my heart.
For as long as I remember,
from the time I used to care for decorations
to the time I am too lazy to clean up.
From the moments of sweet solitude by the window
to the clinking glasses and winking eyes.
The room belonged more to them
than to me.

blueflower
And I often found it unsettling,
as if on a night
when I would be hiding under covers
not knowing what to fear,
someone would knock at the door
and with that knock, would come a pair of shoes
and a set of clothes, holding a person
whose face, motive or aim
would soon be inconsequential.

blueflower
And slowly she would drag me
out of each room,
snatching away each memory that she touched,
knocking down my bookcases filled with my escape,
tearing away the wallpapers
behind which I hid my unvoiced cries.
The doors would be shut on my face,
leaving me out in a storm on a moonless night,
leaving me alone to face all that I didn’t know of
taking away all that I know.

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