“Earphones” – Nayana Nair

.

I cannot paint

your silhouette moving through the rain toward me-
all the blue that lingered in the light rain, on my skin, in the wait for you.

The color that fills my mind when I recall
how your cold hands met mine, my frozen shivering love hungry hands,
and nothing was cold anymore,
nothing was insufferable,
as long as you and me stayed like this,
accepting the ache that comes with staying.

The song, the familiar and strange tune, that became beautiful
by the time it played for 35th time, by the time our cola lost its fizz,
by the time the untouched food looked comforting,
by the time I found that knowing you and your everything
was as painful and liberating as putting myself into words.

The tension
of the stretched earphones between our head and our aching necks,
a moment of sadness, of a great love, of a great end
played itself before us again and we promised ourselves- we won’t ever be there.
And yet as you mocked the world for its weakness
I cried for the same weakness you and me hid in ourselves.

The cold wind that went through me, as you walked past me,
my pride- ground and powdered, spilling out of me,
blinding and confusing people around me,
making me look desperate, pitiful, and empty
as I chased you through streets where we were never supposed to be.

I cannot draw them, so I write.
I write
how we stood together
in every room,
on every patch of earth
for the longest time
and saw within our reach
something that was beautiful and fragile
and no one’s to keep
as long as we saw each other only,
as long as we could smile at what we saw.

I remember you as you stayed still,
breathing carefully
as we let fate make something out of us.
I remember your eyes
asking me with a smile to confirm the reality of what we had,
of what we are.

I wonder how you remember me now.
Now that we are living our lives trying only to prove
that we have lost nothing of ourselves in losing each other.

“Even when things are right” – Nayana Nair

“The sky is your canvas”,
the book to all ailments said,
“there is a joy in filling it up with life.”
But as I finished my 157th sketch,
as I finished my 300th one,
as I finished the one with no count attached
(the one I called “the limits that were stronger than me”),
as I write over all that I had drawn,
as the clouds dragged themselves painfully
crawling to some better place,
like everything else in my life
the sky remained unchanged.

And when I lost my hands to fate, to slow corrosion,
to the burden of creation,
to the lady in white who couldn’t even lie that “it won’t hurt”,
to the painful work of making up things that I want,
things that would want me back, or at least won’t walk out,
to the hunch that said something is seriously wrong
with the kind of life I have.

I wished for the man in the sky
to wake up and get to work,
to make me some rain,
to drop an ocean of crystal on this world,
to paint a heaven on this cheap sky of this miserable man.

Because trying on some days, on most days now,
feels like living against the wishes of the world.
I can’t help but break a bit, cry a bit
even when things are right,
because they right only because of my efforts.
Can you give me something that I don’t have to work hard for,
something that was made for me,
something that I can keep.
A thing, a person, a sign
that I can hold in my hand
that tells me that you want me to be happy,
that you want me to smile,
that I am not abandoned after all.

“name my heart” – Nayana Nair

i draw a white light
on another perfect window
with my broken hand

the clouds have gathered
for me
my blue stream must be dying inside

i speak my softest tongue
i lift my wounds
to show my untainted heart

stay on the waves in my eyes
touch the only vein in my body
that knows how to hope, i beg

but they drift away
before i name my heart after them
they drift away not wanting to be mine

the sky is clear again
i try not to cry, as i draw the lightning
that no clouds can gift my heart.

"let me wake up" – Nayana Nair

someone whispered
you are special
and i knew that this is sleep
(the pleasantly confusing side),
that this is a memory of something
that will never happen again (should i be sad?).
paper dolls hurried me down the aisle
of a supermarket, opening up packets and packets
of laughter that I had not yet paid for
(should i be worried?)
They made me stand at the counter,
chirping “it’s time”, “it’s time”
“it’s time”
and someone who tried hard to look like a human,
who had tried to scratch away
the face of demon drawn by my hands,
stood with a trolley filled with sad colors,
handed me his card
with my name written on his scratched out one
and told me
“now you fall”.
and all i could say was “i hate you”
“i hate you – not in used-to-love-you way”
“i hate you – the way i hate having a broken heart”
“let me wake up”

“Anomaly of the Art Class” – Nayana Nair

I row my heart
to the moon you drew,
the one you colored in green
ignoring every reality,
for which you got an D,
for which I lost a part of me.

I no longer hold onto the poems filled with dread-
dread of rejection, of future, of finding myself eventually broken.
I see something that you have left behind in me.
Something that still burns, still lives for a reason.
Something that is much more than an art class with disappointed teacher.
Something that helped me hug back the blue parts of me.

I row my heart
to the moon you drew,
to the world I traced
with my own brave hands.

“A Sadness to Replace You” – Nayana Nair

The lines are drawn.
The teams have been split.
Now I must show loyalty only to “my kind”.
Now I must learn by heart
the roads that I am not allowed to take.
Your heart probably lies on one of those roads.
That’s probably the reason, why my feet won’t walk in your direction.

What is it like to live in the better half of the world?
My limited imagination sees you as only you
and that’s why I know that I am going to be hurt badly.
A friend tells me with sadness, “staying away would be kinder love”.
He plays me a beautiful tune, a melody to replace you,
a consolation of sorts, a very poor (though thoughtful) consolation.

The sun is a quadrant setting only on my half of world,
although no one has yet tried to split this moon.
How fortunate are we to share at least this sorrow, at least the night.
On every night sky you are my hope written in neon.
Every morning, you are a dream that I force myself to forget.
But no words, no consolation can make me forget you.

“Change Me” – Nayana Nair

the doors, the light falling on us,
the grass that grew by the roads that we walked,
the flowers in our backyard,
everything.
you changed everything.
you filled everything with so much light
and drew every object around you
with such intense colors
that I had to love you.

but you could not change me.

my heart stirred in its sleep
but never wanted to wake up and decide.
i am not dragging you down for what happened.
i am not saying that you were enough.

i am saying that it was your benevolence-

how you never tried to take this fabric of my skin
and sew it something that would fit you,

how you remained the wide blue sky
and how i remained a small disappearing brook,

how my heart felt small to even hold an essence of you,
how i feared to lose you,

how i wanted to lose you for once,
to be free from this fear

that is what drove us apart.

some days i wished for you to fall into me,
to make me something more than i am.
some days i wished i never met you,
never became aware with how small i am.

“I can be your helpless angel” – Nayana Nair

I place broken glass of every color at your feet.
I know how you loved the way they looked.
I will re-create every beauty that you asked for,
I will make them incapable of the danger that you fear.
So that you can walk in this unsettling world,
walk over every broken glass.
I can draw a faceless person to walk by your side,
so you don’t have to feel sorry
when you forget their names
or when they forget you.
It is a world you can never be in
but I will draw it anyway,
because this world that I don’t want for you
is the only world that can make you happy.

“Who I am” – Nayana Nair

I will spend some nights
listening to why I am not the one you can love.
I will keep you awake and keep myself in pain
till I get this list down,
till I memorize it all,
till “who I am” just means “what you can’t love”.

I daydream about how I will leave you.
In this fiction
I know how to stop,
there I have given up on you,
there you are seek my acceptance for a change.

But I stop dreaming just before devising,
drawing a bright future without you,
without your rejection.
I stop because I have calls to answer,
mistakes to regret, trips to plan,
friends to cut off, paint my room black,…
I stop because there is so much suffering
I have to live through
before I am allowed to forget you.

“Stop my tears” – Nayana Nair

The lines that you drew to my heart
all of them are dissolving,
so easily.
Is forgetting,
is leaving that easy?
I look at you
and try to find somewhere in you
some feelings for me,
an attachment that could mirror
the state of my heart.

-o-

I am sorry that I am disappointed
when I told you I won’t be.
I am sorry that I cannot rise above
this weakness that love brings back in me.
But what is the alternative?
-the lonely days
-the days spent hating the world
-days spent hating the one I love
-days spent in regret
-days spent breaking those whom I can touch but never love
-days spent waiting for you to come back
and meanwhile converting every hour of my suffering
into an life of anger
that you must bear
even if you return

I hate them.
I hate all these alternative.

-o-

I have no option but to hold you
and hope that after all this time
maybe a little part of you would stay,
if only for the sake of stopping my tears.