“The land of disasters” – Nayana Nair

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As my empty cup for tea
came crashing on the floor,
I heard another sigh escape me.
I turned back from the counter
and watched in resignation
as the winds mercilessly pushed through
the cushions, the magazines, the old discarded
phones that made no noise as they came
to find death second time.

The curtains and the window frames
came apart. The sad smiles, barely visible
through the annealed glass, cracked upon
and my ancestors fled away, rejoicing for first time
in the brokenness of this world.
I recalled all the videos I had seen
about the land of disasters and the restless hearts
that live there. I recalled the reasons
that cause such misfortunes, the incomplete
distracted television reports. But I didn’t have to think
of all that, to know what was happening to me.

The sky was clear
and I could hear people walking to festivals and carnivals
and towards to unbearable silence of funerals,
trying to laugh as much as they can before they get there.
I closed my eyes and waited with anxiousness,
waited without hopes
for love to appear again and make a mess of the life
I had spent years to put together.

“The places where I am not” – Nayana Nair

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Across this glass,
across the tired melting clouds of mist,
on the other side
there are trees and homes and forests
that are just like places on this side that I rest.

The places where I am not
look as sad as all the places I have been.
Everywhere, on every road there is always a person
who knows a way to break my heart,
and I always end up thanking them for it.

There are rooms where I put up
lights and posters and curtains
and lovers and music,
those are the rooms I want to die in-
with some beauty, with some consolation of meaning .

But always I find the reason for my end outside these walls.
Those reasons live under the brightest light on the darkest road.
And because I was told that the light that I don’t know of
is the one that saves all, even the hopeless ones like me.
So my legs forget how to stop,
my hands forget how to let go,
and my blood glitters for a moment under the light of lost hopes
before it turns black, before it invites in the cold
that I always thought belonged to the inanimate world.

I think of the room I won’t reach,
and the songs and the faces and this world
that I will not be given a peace of, to keep.

As the sky fills me up, pats me down,
and tucks me in the snow
across the white,
I feel someone stir from sleep.
The wail that my throat cannot make,
finds a home in that other world, in the other me
that unlike me
knows how to cry and how to be loved for it.

“Living some sort of life” – Nayana Nair

His face lit up
with the death of every colorful explosion in the sky.
He hates this sky on other days
(among other things).
Today he loves it, this darkness,
this crowd, even me.
(Maybe not me,
but it doesn’t mean anything to me now.

But in moments like this
I am reminded of the “me” who would have wanted his love
or at least be part of the world that can be loved.
The ‘past me’ shakes off my hand
and stands there looking at him
as if he is her sky,

but only finds the signs of deaths
that have nothing spectacular about them.
I stand there
looking at my sadness, his sadness
breathing the air and living some sort of life
for once.)

He stands there looking at the sky
through my silence, through my awe,
awe at his simple happiness.
(How long has it been
since he has loved anything with his
breaking heart.)

He stands there looking at the sky
even when curtain of stars resurface,
even when the screams of children dissolve.
He stands there abandoned by the world
and yet happy.
(I stand there abandoned by him,
by myself
and yet happy)

“On My Own” – Nayana Nair

Once the shade of the shutters
are rolled down,
once I am left on my own,
reason and explanation rush in,
try to cling and climb up
the cracks of my heart,
and the folds of my brain,
trying desperately to stop me
to reach out, to find me
in the fog of fear.

But I am already far ahead,
my hands reach for everything it could hold,
everything it could break
and hurl them at the window
till it broke,
till I could cry
for the things that were robbed from me.
I couldn’t stop.
I couldn’t stop hurting myself
even when I lay half-broken under dangling paper curtains,
even when all that I broke pierced my skin and hurt me back.
If I stopped, I would again hear the steps
that always walks over my world and reduces me to dust.

“Closer to Me” – Nayana Nair

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Now the dark corners
are the only safe place remaining.
The loveless days
are the only memory where we can rest
where we can hide from
all the passion that we wished for,
all the feelings we couldn’t handle.

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You once wrote to me about the night
that hung as a curtain over your window,
about how you can’t gather the courage to see the light
until I came along and tore away those curtains,
broke your shields
so that you could see what lay beyond.
I once took pride in being the one
who destroyed all dark cells within you.

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But I realized too late that you were a flower
who could only bloom in dark,
that shields exist for a reason,
that each step you took towards your fear
thinking it would bring you closer to me
was just the beginning of sacrifices
you made to stay in my world.

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As I lay beside you
trying to undo my harm
trying to teach you how to forget me,
what I regret most is that
when you struggled with what you are
I was only proud of my love that could make you do all that
instead of being seeing your love
that could do what I couldn’t.

“Only She Knows” – Nayana Nair

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She left the door ajar
and closed the curtains as she left,
like she did so many things
that I didn’t ask her to do.
Like so many things I didn’t notice.
Did I fear darkness of the room?
Did I fear drifting into sleep
no longer be sure
that this body would continue breathing?
I feared a lot.
I knew the names of imaginary insects
that crawled inside my mind.
But only she knew how to close my eyes
and close my heart
to the pain and paranoia
that only I could feel.
I woke up to curtains soaking the sunlight
and the sweet humming from next room.
And I didn’t want this humming
to go farther
than this.

“Whale Songs” – Nayana Nair

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My house on hills and its silence
are always occupied in a duel
with the wartime echoes from far away lands,
with the agonizing voices of reality.
Even if I surround my house
with the greenest trees,
place cool streams around.
Even if I cloud my windows
with curtains of smoke.
Even if I barter with life,
even if I am ready to embrace
loneliness for the sake of peace.
In my dreams, filled with whale songs,
there are sorrows
of lives I have cut off myself from.
But I am not someone
who can save people from themselves.
I have no choice but to burn
the letters,
the newspapers,
to keep myself warm and alive.