“A Big Word” – Nayana Nair

I am happy. Almost.
I leave my bed to sit beside the window
that looks over the road.
I stare at everything that lives and dies beside me.
I will my brain to think of a rhyme
that I can gift this world.
I feel that my love for this ocean
of people far exceeds my loathing.
I am almost happy to be alive.
Though almost is a big word, a painful word.
It is is still smaller than the distance I have covered so far,
it is negligible to everything that has ever stood in my way.
‘Almost’ is something I can overlook,
as long as I have something to look forward to.
I cannot give up on this world even when I should.

“Fossil” – Nayana Nair

Drop by drop the wax fills
the bucket of broken butterflies.

I am falling into another sleep,
into another death that is warm,
that embraces me like no lover ever has.

I feel the pain in my wings, and unlike other days
I try to think that this will never pass.
That I will remain like this, with a bit of pain always there
in my shoulder blades, under my ribs, aching for a memory that floats
above my body, above my existence.

Someone holds my hand and I let them.
I was always afraid of living and dying alone.
I guess there are many like me.

Years from now they will find us
and probably write stories
about how we loved each other even in death.
As they look at our almost ruined and almost saved faces
they won’t know how we died heartbroken,
how we held onto each other
but never dared to look at each other
or ask the names we had started to hate.
How our skins melted into each other only because
we had nowhere else to be.
That even as light broke free from our eyes
we didn’t want to look like failure.

“Sandstorm” – Nayana Nair

The sandstorm is just another setting
for this story to continue.
There are no trees in our desert
that could be broken.
There are only lights that learn to flicker,
there is only skin that knows what this wind carries,
there are only roads that will drown.

With half closed eyes you walk out
to search for what you have left behind.
With half closed door I wait for you to return.
I find another quote in another book
foretelling the loveless life that will continue henceforth.
Another book, another friend I must burn
for speaking the truth, for wanting my best.

I am destined to die on the night of a full moon
without a reason, without a witness,
with a piece of broken mirror becoming a new part of my body-
another prophesy that I wish you had not gifted me.

Three fairies sleep in our bed,
who do not yet know the violence of your broken heart.
I hope you get what you cry for,
I hope you forget our names,
I hope this storm saves us from every moon, every sky.
I hope this storm saves us from you.

“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.

“As the fire dies out” – Nayana Nair

After a long time, I feel like walking
towards the calm unknown.
The wildness in me that I had thrown away,
is waiting for me.
They were always waiting
to tell me all the gossips of stars and fishes,
how lost and alone they both felt
to know that blue they had in common
were totally different worlds.

The clothes that made me look somewhat beautiful
I fold them with care,
leave it somewhere you won’t miss.
Their newness would be the new metaphor for sadness,
sadness – yours and mine.

There must be a magic to undo this curse of our feelings.
There must be an answer, a life
that doesn’t necessarily need us to be together.
I will ask the cruel fairies that live in dying breaths
to make you forget me at sunrise,
to make me feel something for you again,
as my life with you ends.

“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.

“please leave” – Nayana Nair

please leave.
i am so fed up of this love
that only exists in my head.
my heart is a glacier, my skin a floodplain
and yet
i speak of home and family
as if i am filled with warmth till my brim.
what do i know of love?
what do i know of love, to hold you back?
we have held hands long enough,
it is okay to let go now.
how long are you going to nod along?
your phone has been ringing for an eternity,
it is okay to say the goodbye
that you have been swallowing for my sake.
don’t start loving me
for putting your freedom back on your plate.
i just don’t want to see you
die like this because of me.
i am fed up people giving up on themselves
to love someone like me.
so, please leave.

“Something made up” – Nayana Nair

now that we both are standing lost
at this market to sell our heart.
now when you are just a silent mural,
i feel like pretending to miss you.
in fact, that is the only thing i do.

every day, i write something
that could make a better monster of you.
every night, i get better at shedding fake tears.
our love looks like a lost cause even now,
but it looks more beautiful
since there is nothing real about it anymore.

“it is all fiction”, i tell them.
“i am a liar”, i shout.
but they love me anyway.
they love me the way you should have,
you could have, it was the easiest thing to do.
there were so many easy things,
things that will never be easy again.
since, i have chosen the most ridiculous way to live
and the most difficult the way to die,
the only non-pathetic way to die in our love.

“Tiptoe” – Nayana Nair

the ones we sign our valentine cards to,
the ones we tie ourselves to for life
wait for us to die (or some form of death) to become free.
their heart is full of love – only not for us.

they tiptoe at night to bury their crimes
and demand honesty only when it suits
what they have in their mind.

so even when we ask,
“why did you break me like this
when I loved you so?”

they say, “there are no proofs in stories like these,
where everyone claims to be wronged.
there are no daggers, only words,
which are conveniently easy to forget
or edit if enough years pass.
anyway no one remembers that well,
one can always hear things wrong.”

so we go back to sleep,
get fine with living blind.
tell our self it is fine
as long as we are together,
when “together” is not what we want.

“the giants continue to live in my dreams” – Nayana Nair

Across the street
lived the giants.
The green giants-
who waited for rains to cry,
who waited for the night to speak.

Thankfully the windows
in my temporary home
were small and few.
Thankfully it was always cold,
that awful cold
that makes you want to sleep
for a long long time.

So I slept and slept.
I ate whatever my mother cooked.
I waited for her to tell me
what I am to do with my life.
While the kids I never spoke to,
went into the home of giants
to put them on fire,
I slept.
I slept and cried in my dreams.
Because tears on my real skin
would make this sadness more real.
Real sadness demands reasons and explanation.
Real sadness demands proofs.

I slept
to dream,
to stand among them-
the ones who have learnt
how to live and die quietly,
to forgive easily.
I waited for the day
I would grow roots,
the day when I could smile
at my falling leaves.
I waited for the day
I could become one of them
and not the cruel outsider that I am now.