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“but the waves run away from me” – Nayana Nair

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the trees sway behind me
they tower and droop and die
above the cold parked cars.
i hear the sounds
that i couldn’t till last night
it is music to my ears
and “warnings of ruin” to my mind.
the green monster, the metal carriage,
and their lonely helpless master
face the direction of ocean.
if we were bigger,
if everything before us could melt,
if i could understand distances,
if i could drive
we could have met a love by that ocean,
we could have called ourselves friends
in that molten world,
i could have told them about the human dread of dying,
we could have laughed over it,
and the tree would have held me and my broken and beaten car
in its motherly gaze
and we wouldn’t worry whether this happiness
could heal us or not.

“Is this what this distance, this decision means?” – Nayana Nair

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With my back to the my cold family name
the metallic alphabets printing hard on my clothes,
I stand
with my feet half out of my pretty shoes –
with my painted nails still hidden in the skin of another animal,
my hands revolving the beautiful replica of Saturn
around the plastic heart on my elaborate key chain- a stage of its own.
I stand and wait for you to open your door on the floor above.
I hear a faint click, a phone ring, footsteps running away from the world
(why do I feel such sadness when I hear that?),
a door left open (to everyone but me)
I sit in the middle of my living room floor
staring up, at the underside- the creeping mold
of the stage where I played your lover, your nemesis.
It is cruel and incomprehensible that we can still live,
take calls, make jokes, eat, and still have the want to live.
After hurting ourselves and the world for the sake of love,
after all that, is this is it?
When you find your room, your world without me
which direction does your heart turn towards?
Do forget from time to time that we are supposed to forget each other?
When I find my loneliness becoming greater than me,
when it starts spilling out of me on dinner table,
when it makes me lose my mind, am I allowed to let go of you?
Is this what this distance, this decision means?
I hear your window open, I hear your excited voice
(why do I feel color of anger filling me again?).
I wonder if you have really found your new life
or is this an act you have put for my benefit?
Your kindness could only be in my head, as was your love.
TV drowns your voice again
and I thank all the accidents, all the things out of my control,
everything that moves us away from each other.
Otherwise, I never could.

“Inversion” – Nayana Nair

When I stand near you,
I want to believe that we are standing together.
That our hearts being mirror images
means something more.
Mirror images…
‘Lateral inversion’ they called it, I recall.
We feel similar only when facing each other.
But when we talk of this world,
when we eat from our own broken plates,
when we tell each others directions,
when we see each other from afar
we are nothing but strangers.
We are nothing but proofs against each other’s belief.
But still I want to believe
that there is something I cannot see,
some argument in favor of “us”.
I want to believe you are my medicine
even as my skin cuts and bleeds in your embrace.

“The wind is picking up” – Nayana Nair

The wind is picking up.
The white sand unlike water
sinks everything too slowly.
And so the shade less trees of eucalyptus
become shadows that I learn to love.
They become compass that knows no direction,
but just piece this world to hold,
the silent assurance
that I am not yet lost, though my eyes can’t tell.

***

The wind is picking up.
In the middle of this small storm,
my careful hands writing the date on black board
suddenly realize the need to be held.
And so I fold and create a crease
on another part of my face-
the part that shows my heart too easily.
Someone yells out my name
and unknowingly they moor me to another violence,
another need that I don’t want to carry in me.

“Can’t Choose Something Better” – Nayana Nair

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You stand in the middle of every green field.
You stand in front of every road, every direction
that promises me something better,
a world
where the thoughts in my mind can finally settle.
But because you are here at the beginning of everything
I cannot find in myself the will
to begin anything new
and to leave you behind.

“Part and Parcel” – Nayana Nair

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That day when it rained of
bruised and dying birds
of feathers marked with colors only
an arrogant and confident cruelty can cause,
everyone looked about for an umbrella
to protect themselves from this vision
that they didn’t want to witness.
This was not the historic moment
that they wanted to be part of.

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I could understand their willingness to believe
that the marks of fingers in the blood and bodies
that filled up the roads
can be called natural causes.
It was probably better
than knowing the names of people whom we may have laughed with
only to know they know how to fly,
how to clip wings and suspend the decaying bodies in air
for eternities,
while we asked them the directions for our life,
while we asked them to tie up our laces as a child,
while we asked them to love us, and build a new life.

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I guess even the innocent
got fed up of being looked at like a potential danger
or tired of looking for one.
It was probably more convenient to come to an understanding,
of agreeing on a made-up fact
that this all is part and parcel of being a bird in the sky,
that birds should know better than to fly,
and tempt innocent humans into life of crime.
Birds at their best should just chirp joyfully
and let everything slide.

“Vague” – Nayana Nair

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The nowhere that you talk about,
are frustrated with,
the direction that we seem to always end up these days
in spite of our best intentions,
in spite of all we want to dream of-
that nowhere is not that bad place to be.
It is vague I know, I agree.
But there is a comfort in the vagueness.
Us standing here
and not knowing where to go.
Thinking, deciding, fretting over small details
of when and how
and finally waiting for another day
and another heartbreak
before we call it quits.
Sounds painful
and maybe it was
I do not remember
and probably won’t
till you end up doing all the things that you promised you won’t,
till I end up saying all the things I never wanted to say again.
That is when we remember everything
and are faced with feelings
that should never have existed between us
but till then,
till the day we realize what we already know
can’t we just be fine with ‘vague’?

“Stranded” – Nayana Nair

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The tissues I have cried into
are my excuses,
to hide the clutter of calls and love I forgot to return.
Sometimes it is too late to clear the mess I made.
It is more difficult to retain my will to clean it all up,
which sort of made me guilty
of creating another sad person.
But what is another tissue in another sea.
Everyone dreams of sailing into a brighter morning
leaving behind their darkness in another’s mind.
What if I am as selfish as them.
What is another ship, another selfish wish
amidst thousand such others-
all stranded on a water-less heart
all looking for a flood, instead of directions.

“Substitute of Light” – Nayana Nair

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Here in this night glowing with memories
placed as substitute of light in the face of storm,
I sit with all the words my body clung to
in spite of its bare, aging and passing spring.
I scratch out all the definitions of what I am
from the paper that seemed to once shine
and reflect an image that could have been me,
if only I didn’t have to live till this day
to realize what a mirror really is
and how painful it is to look into one.
Now when I write down new rules and new directions for myself,
I envision another day in future
when again I will have to strip myself
of all I believe to be true.
And knowing that a day like that exists ahead of me
makes me look at myself with certain pride
for trying again and again.

“All Over Again” – Nayana Nair

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All that led me in life-
Sometimes towards you,
sometimes away.
My pride, my greed.
My sense of right
and my lust for wrong.
All have left me alone in life,
as you breathe your last.
Struggling to be free from me.

Your eyes found me hiding
in the truths I created everyday,
so my lies didn’t become apparent to myself.
Maybe because of that you have been tied to me
by what I now know as love.

The questions
of deserving love,
realizing love
no longer haunts my mind.
I wish I could go back to the world
where you breathe,
where you smile,
where you lips, your love, your tears
do not know my name.
For I know,
even if I could do it all over again,
it would all be the same.

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