“Our knowing of faith” – Nayana Nair

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“What do you know of prayers?” she asked,
as she held my hands together within her own.
I asked her “Don’t you anything about me?”
and there appeared another crack on her hands,
there bloomed another rose in her hair
there was another smile – the “looking down” smile,
“you don’t know any better” smile,
“you will soon thank me” smile,
“I know you hate my smile” smile.
I tried to imitate it, to drape it on my own face.
Cause even if it didn’t seem like that, I loved her smile.

I stared at her smile
wanting to save it somewhere in me. I stared
at her small beautiful parts
wanting to un-see the person she is in this moment.
I am always trying
to forget how suffocated these moments with her are.
I am always trying to forget
that with her words of love there was always a plea,
a suggestion, a manipulation – to make me something like her.

Would it make me seem pathetic, petty, or romantic?
if i called her a poison. Though everyone here is a poison,
even me, but she is a poison for me, the only poison
that works on me. The only one I didn’t want a death from.
She tells me about another deity I will never believe in.
She tells me a bit more about saving, about faith, about her own self
that can never be broken, how even breaking can’t end her now.
I wished she was right, I wished there would be never an end to her.

I wished for all kinds of ends for myself,
even the ones without her. But in no version
did I invent an agreeable version of her that will better for me.
She has to be herself. Whatever that might mean for me.
I wonder if there would come a day like that, a day when
she would love me like that. Do I even want a day like that?
Can I even tolerate a change in her?
Wouldn’t that break me more than anything?

I get up and say something about “better things to do”
and she says something about “the dangers to the faithless”
and I can only smile for now
at this weird, beautiful, messed up part of our life
at our of differences, knowing of love,
at our knowing of faith in different things that save us in their own ways.

“The truth doesn’t matter to me” – Nayana Nair

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And when asked if my words could be relied on,
if what I wrote was true.
I answered, “My life doesn’t know truth
as much as it knows love.
But when it comes to love, my words fails me,
I fail myself, before anyone else.
Failing is nothing to be proud of
and failing in love is like filling oneself
with doubts and faults that never existed before.
I can never be myself again.
My standing up or my lying defeated
may make a difference to the world,
my truth might matter to the everyone else
but not to me.

To me, what matters is already lost.
Now I just get to live a life of pretense –
play house, play life, play hearts
with people who seek truth in wrong places- in me.
If I asked if you can be relied on,
if you know the meaning of words you speak.
You might answer yes to keep my heart, to be better at love.
You might answer no and I will know it to be true even as I smile.
But nothing you say actually matters
the world will end and we will end long before that
and I will end before you-
because of you
or in spite of you.

You might turn out to be my last true love
or you might be the last nail in my heart.
But if I write a poem on eternal love
of someone whose shadows roughly look like ours,
know it is a lie we will never live up to,
but also know it is what I saw in us
even if it cannot be called truth,
even if it won’t be us.

“The door opens slowly” – Nayana Nair

I turned another corner
and walked into another house
that I knew nothing about.
The owner, the god of this land stood there
outside in the garden
telling a child how to create more beautiful loops,
how to somersault,
how to find more worms, more of everything.
An adult placed like a talisman
that couldn’t keep me
or what I bring with me away.
He didn’t even notice the grave that I carried in me,
the open pits in ground awaiting more bodies.

I walked to the front door and rang the bell
thinking, wondering what must I not be seeing
in the person I see as a fool.
I wonder if the graves in him didn’t love him back as well.
The door opens slowly and I wait.
I let my willingness to wait announce to her that it is me.
She makes me a wait a bit more-
that is the nature of game we are caught in.

Seconds and hours I spend on her couch,
waiting for the commotion outside to end,
for “the happy family on a sunday morning” to end.
She has four brother
and an almost sister that they never talk about.
She reminds me this a few more times
so that on the mental map of belonging and similarities
I find this unnamed sister closer to my role.

They rush in like a flood, like a rain gone wrong-
all these bodies that I am not supposed to see.
“They are perfect”, I thought to myself.
I thought of my mother, the anger in my home,
the counting of countless miseries,
the coarse harsh words that filled my eyes, then filled my mouth,
the gentle sunsets that drown only dreams.
“They are perfect”, I think, “for someone living in the same world as me”.

She tells them about my scholarships, about my fragile upbringing,
about the art that runs in me.
She tells them all about the things that they like.
For today she has made them into me.
I smile and say a little too less.
I smile as if I mean no harm.

But I know
I am here.
I am here and there is no escape
from the fact that eventually
I will sit in this room with my love
and with a glitter pen running out of ink.
I will draw, deepen the cracks that I already see.

Such is my nature.
Such are the songs that I live on repeat.

“Virtual Image” – Nayana Nair

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?

“Crutch” – Nayana Nair

I let your hand become my crutch.
I let your feelings for me
become a means of my own validation.
I let “love” slip
from my mind.
Being the center
of your tiny universe
has ruined me, has undone my heart.
You are too close, too close to be seen
or to be cared for.
Each morning your face reminds me
how you are become one step closer
to achieving invisibility in my eyes.
“i cannot imagine not being your everything”
is not the same as “i love you”.
I wonder if you know that.
I wonder if you know
that this difference
of what I feel
and what I should
is killing anything humane left in me.

“Just Poems” – Nayana Nair

My mind that understands
is chained and crippled by its understanding.
It only tries to understand new words
by comparing it to
what has already written or read.
It only understands feelings in terms of
the pain it has given
or all it has suffered.

-o-

So when I stand in front of the doors of a poem
feeling the sting of December winds on my back.
When I ring the doorbell
and hear from other side “May I come inside?”
I immediately know that this not something
that I understand,
that there is a difference
in reading as if
sitting on the couch in a stranger’s house
waiting to be entertained
and reading as if
I have let the stranger in my own mind
and allowed him to change
the view I have of this world.

-o-

Some poems are not just poems.
They are voices that never die
because they have never been born.
They are ghosts that we have always wanted to haunt.
They are names we give to our own suffering,
a closure that only we can give to ourselves.

“You are the difference” – Nayana Nair

On evenings such as these
when the all the withered flowers of my heart
have regained the life that once left them,
when I have known what is it to die,
when I have known how rare it is to find a road back to life
when I have known the pain of losing,
I feel even now I can try once more.
I can try to hold your hand.
I can try, I can stand at the edge once again
because even though you are not mine yet,
but the thought of days without you
seems grayer and sadder than all that I have suffered.
No, I won’t die. It won’t pain even if you don’t end up with me.
But the possibility of a life with you
has made me a bit more greedy.
I have started expecting a bit more from life
and you are the only difference
between between my now and my dream.

-ooO0O0O0Ooo-

On evenings such as these
when the soil of my heart have been dug too deep,
have seen the seasons of happiness
that never stays,
when it has known how tiring life can be
and finding my way back once
doesn’t mean I won’t be lost again.
Though the memories of your smiles
are as fresh as the ones of filled with your resentment.
I find my heart filled with nothing but you.
I am where I once was
and I want to stay here forever
always in love with you.
Praying for one more day with you.
Praying to always be the one who gets your love.
Even when you are here,
even when you are mine
I want you more,
a little bit more of you.

“Saviour” – Nayana Nair

This sad heart of yours,
this heart that I love the most,
I wondered once
why it couldn’t rise above what it is suffering from
even when you have me.
Why as I sit with you talking about myself
you smile as if trying to contain the tears
that you won’t be able to explain.

x

I have always felt that even though
we were meant to go through everything together
it was just me
looking at you
fighting someone who I couldn’t even see.

x

Every drop of love that I bring to you
end up being just another drop of expectation
that helps you drown that much faster.

x

And when I am done being disappointed with myself
for being insufficient,
for not being able to make a difference in your life,
I end up thinking that maybe
sometimes love cannot exorcise
the feelings that we have for ourselves
and maybe I just need to learn to see the you
who is able to smile instead of all that you suffer from
with pride
instead of taking pity on you
and trying to replace you as your saviour
when you are doing a fine job being one yourself.

“Difference” – Nayana Nair

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Her head floats in the sea of sleep,
in the rising and falling waves of dreams,
in the island of blankets
that is kept warm only by her own body.
As the light in her room changes its hue,
the chill on her window
melts into the nothingness
that the day always brings.
Words and vision come to the surface of life
before she does.
She hears her voice
-“I hope this the day that makes
the difference”.
She dismisses it
as the ghosts that have overstayed.
Holding her falling parts in a life
crushed under the weight of its own hopes.

“Too many poems” – Nayana Nair

impending rain

I may write too many poems about rain.
Impending rain.
No rain.
But isn’t it how we categorize moments in our life.
Happy.
Not happy.
Waiting for happiness.
Struggling for happiness.
Only difference:
struggling for rain
won’t bring you rain.