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“Sense of Urgency” – Nayana Nair

Today I realized
what to call all that I have been reading for so long.
A person I didn’t mean to overhear called it ‘a sense of urgency’-
the desire to save this world as soon as possible.

It seems the enemies are too many.
I saw many names in the list of these enemies
that I silently agreed with-
pollution, dictatorship, bullying,
monetization of education, competing in a rigged world,
oppression of lives and loves of minority, hate crimes,…

I scoffed at some:
the collapse of society in the hands of socially withdrawn,
collapse of economy in the hands of those who want and do less,
the unfeeling and unapologetic generation that seems to love depression,
women whose learning and thinking too much only breaks families,…

“this is the cause worth dying for”-
I suddenly became afraid of that feeling.

As I read all the absurd causes I couldn’t agree with.
As I read and became exasperated at the words of those
who were convinced that they knew better
even as they killed and killed and killed
and got addicted to seeing blood dissolving in oceans.
I realized
how dangerous this feeling could be.

“this is what to means to change the world.
to change the world
is to walk over everything I don’t want to see”
My sense of urgency hated me for thinking this.
It recited every quote about silence of good men.
But all I could now see was the line that I must not cross,
the words I must not say, the knife that I must never hold-
no matter the cause.

“i don’t react well to kindness” – Nayana Nair

the river behind me
is filled with regret
of swallowing the sun
that she once claimed to love.
she is like me,
so i thought she’d understand.

but she holds my hands,
refuses to give me up
when i try to find out
how much I can be filled.
she fears my temperament
and the dangerous things
i incessantly wish for.

i want to tell her
that my heart is too heavy,
that her kindness is only causing me pain,
that bleeding a bit won’t kill me,
that words won’t save me.
that her embrace would only become
my next hope, my next wound.

“Not Worthless” – Nayana Nair

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A morning creeps up in my heart
and I think this is your doing.
But you do not know
and probably you never will
that any window that you open for me
will be another measure of my failure for me.
This beautiful world
can only keep me entertained for so long.
The positive attitude that everyone
keeps talking about
and eyes that I have heard
can put beauty onto everything it sees-
are not something that I have.
I think I had that once,
but that was so long ago
that I do not remember whether I liked it-
living that uncomplicated life,
not having to run away from people who do good.
When was it that a good person
started to seem the most dangerous person in my mind.
When was it that I learned
to break trust of others and still not feel regret.
When was it that I learned to silence my conscience so well.
I am not asking you all these
you obviously won’t have answers
but just because you do not have answer
to questions that I have watered all my life,
doesn’t mean that I will mock your vision.
Even if I cannot do what you do,
even if I cannot be what you are
it is not because they are worthless pursuits.
It is only because I do not have the strength to paint
sunrise on the ceilings of hearts made of starless night,
like you do.

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