“What I Remember (26)” – Nayana Nair

I covered up myself up-
hiding the pieces,
hiding the glue,
hiding the knife close to my heart.
There is too little time
and so much to be disposed,
so much has to be kept at the bottom of the stairs,
under the sheets,
under the hand that cupped my face
so that no one could say with certainty
whether I am laughing or crying or thinking
about the hands that will never touch my face again
or wondering why I can’t move away
or keep away from mines and alligators
and magma and my fearful heart and dark wells
and palaces that never sink or get ruined
completely and green roads of past and red
destinations in my hands and love for colors
that will not love me back and following the one
with tearful eyes and the thoughts of some end,
any end.
All this extravagance,
so that no one could see my see through my real feelings
being eaten up by imaginary words and scenarios.

“To the one who who couldn’t change me” – Nayana Nair

The answers I hear
are never the words you speak.

The answers I hear answers are
poorly dubbed clips of proven cruelties and truth
that only a stranger to my pain could utter,
that only you could utter.

It is the thoughtlessness
with which you try to pronounce hope with ease in front of me,
even when you know the names of all the dead ends and dead smiles
where hope has always led me to.

It is the thoughtlessness with which you try to replace
the glowing shards of sad words from my crown
that I have fallen in love with-
my eternal friends who are as unwanted as me.

My crown and its sharpness are just walls for you
and my claims of love for who I am is just an act.

My dark feelings take up more space
than me or you combined
and yet you like to call me small.

Your light
only gives me new shadows to play with
and yet you call me weak.

The color of my eyes and song in my heart
don’t change for your liking
and my love for you doesn’t change.
Yet you call my passions temporary.

While my answers are the ones
that you cannot accept or even see.

My answers exist in a place where I exist
not in a place where you or me would like to be.

I hold onto your hands as much as I try to let go
-that is my answer
Those are the words that you cannot speak.

“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.

“the broken-hearted” – Nayana Nair

the broken-hearted know no love
for anything or anyone
that is not the one breaking their heart.
they see through you.
even when they say hello
they almost get your name wrong,
you can tell it from the look in their eyes.
they drink and fill every room with songs
that were not so hard to bear
when they were just noises that radio made.
they tell you in their drunken stupor that no one cares.

they say no one cares
even when you call the cab, drag them home,
hurt your hand in the struggle,
scrape more than skin, lose more than patience,
leave them on a bed not made
for weeks probably, you don’t want to guess or know.
so you close the door, climb down the stairs
shut down the part of mind reserved for them,
but remember how they have been liking and sharing
too many dark poems, how those poems
speak in their voice in your mind.
so you climb back, remove every blade and knife
and realize it is just the beginning.
you feel exhausted by the inexhaustible list of things
that can help end a life,
that can serve as a full stop.

so you sleep on the couch
or pretend to,
till your head hurts from pretending.
now that you want something true
you call your love
and tell him that you don’t know
how to handle this,
how to sleep and yet keep an eye
on the one whom you suspect is waiting,
waiting for you to close your eyes for a second
to make an exit that doesn’t exist.
he tells you that they are beyond hope
at the same time
he forwards articles that could give you hope.
he tells you to sleep tight knowing you won’t.

when you wake up at the sound of tears
being microwaved for breakfast,
you see another day that won’t be right.
you see them trying not to break
yet breaking and abandoning everything around them
so that their hurt can be felt by the world.
they look at you and smile
while they pour another glass
toasting “another drink for the world that doesn’t care,
another drink for the loveless me.”

the broken-hearted know no love
for anything or anyone
that is not the one breaking their heart.

“the shadow at the foot of my bed” – Nayana Nair

today is the birthday of one another oddity of mine.
on a day like this,
few calendars ago
i learnt how to turn my helplessness into my charm.
i learnt to fill the glasses, the throats of everyone i know
with something sweet, with a taste they can’t name.
i learnt to become something that can’t be known or hurt.
in my bedroom i sit at the foot of my bed
trying to block out the presence, the weight
of the other half of my body
clinging, clawing, crying, dissociating.
i again forget where i am.
i again forget how to stop shaking.
if i walk a bit more into the darkness
i feel i won’t have to pretend to be the one
who has a say in what happens to her.
a hand slips into mine.
sometimes it rests on my waist,
and i force myself not to feel nauseated.
love him. love her. i tell myself repeatedly.
love. love. love. love till i can make up for all my lacks.
my love is my penance, my apology
to anyone who chooses me as their destiny.

“Glow in dark” – Nayana Nair

it was once possible
to be a parrot who was a doctor
who sang in a choir of angels
who saved the world from villains
with ridiculously evil funny names.

it was easy to speak of wants-
a pair of shoes with lights
and a glow in dark radium cello tape
and an army uniform and cream rolls
and a tiara with anything that shines
and the cards i don’t know how to play
and…

once i used to be simple.
i left my sleep
to live like the guy
who runs for hundred years
to rescue the princess.
waiting to reach
a blurry 8-bit princess
that never shows up at any castle
of my world
was not a source of
disappointment (or depression) then.

“Used to this” – Nayana Nair

The light is not enough.

I must somehow reach the empty glasses
that hold no memories, no magic.
They won’t light up,
and all I can do is to learn to live in dark.
I need to get rid of all of them.
Sure, sitting here in the prison of you,
calling it a garden of leftover love is romantic.
Sure, learning to do everything by myself
all over again can be sort of fun,
I used to be good at that.
It is easy, it is comfortable in fact
to live with this space
that I don’t want to name after you.
I like to say “I have gotten used to this”
as if my heart is bigger than every misfortune left in your wake,
as if I really know how to forget.

“Fictional Friends” – Nayana Nair

i break another glass today,
the girl with blue highlights in her hair
walks over it without bleeding
but tells me
not to try such things at home on my own,
that it took her years of invisibility
to even try such tricks.
but she has no suggestions for what else i should do
instead of breaking my smooth skin
and wrecking my good name.
so she tells me a story about a girl and wolf,
another about a girl and her impossible dream,
about a girl and her sad prince,
a girl and the dark world,
a girl and whatever wants to break her down.
she tells me i don’t have to be that girl.
that i just have to be person who happens to be a girl
and not hate herself for it.


it is night already.
i find myself in strange blue rooms.
i hold hands with another new stranger
who promises to sing me to sleep.
he walks like heartache that knows how to smile.
he pretends to be the real deal.
he is too drunk on his own sad story like me
to even see anyone else.
so no we are not in love.
i just want to borrow his songs,
his voice, his awareness of all that is wrong.
i look out of his window, at my own home
at my friends, at my love, at broken frame of my family,
at myself who is trying too hard
to be indifferent to it all.


the battery of my phone dies
and i am alone again in this life
that i can’t find my way around.
i am somewhat lost, tired,
and yet somehow happy
to have lived through this despair,
through another dark night.

“A Dull Reflection of Hope” – Nayana Nair

In a dull handheld mirror
that had yet to be broken,
I looked at myself
and realized
that someone is dying inside me.

I didn’t know how to accept this,
so I solved every question in my math textbook.
I learned to eat more and sleep late.
Stared at my wrist for hours.
Pretended to sleep fearing questions.
Tried a bit of every sin
and waited around to be damned.

I felt a constant urge to break someone
so this world could be little less happier.
But death claimed my heart
before I could do that.
So now I write “love” on your tongue
without knowing what it means.

“Frail Sheep” – Nayana Nair

I kept typing
and just when I thought
this is it,
this is what I want to say,
140 characters were over,
the day had ended,
you had closed your eyes,
and turned your face to other side.

I told myself-
‘tomorrow,
tomorrow i will tell you everything,
tomorrow we will be happy.
you may not love me again
after i say all i need to say,
but we will be happy,
even if it’s on our own’.

I repeated this to myself
as if i knew anything about your happiness.
I repeated this
as if I was counting sheep-
sheep that have grown frail
living on nothing but my words.

As another dark dream came to find me,
I prayed that
tomorrow
may I forget all the words
that can set things right.
I’m afraid till the end
I won’t change.
I keep hoping
that we keep walking together
in this rain of sadness and hurt.