“Once, my heart…”- Nayana Nair

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They set me down softly.
The cloth made of stars and leaves,
laid to rest on my heart.
My heart, once a gaping hungry mouth,
a volcano ready to freeze
all life, all skin that roam and breathe
within its realm. The tyrant helpless ruler
of the subjects that bleed in their sleep
as they murmur their pleas, reciting memories
it can’t bear to listen to.
My heart,
a café lit with dying songs and cheap menu,
a landscape of wrecks well-hidden.
My heart, a sceptic, now sits in a structure of wood,
with its half-written paper
on “questionable power of blood”
sprawled on its desk,
while it waits for the final burning
wearing that one warm worn-down love,
that somehow still breathes.

“I look at you and wonder how much of all this you understand” – Nayana Nair

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The metal bubbles.
The knives and the rust reach
our softest tissue, our dearest happiness.
My skin, like his, is torn and sewed up.
A new design forced into our veins.
A new love written.
Something old and precious bleeds.
Something soft leaves our hold,
leaves our hands, our dreams cold.
The blessings, the gentle shade,
the sun showers –
all a memory too unreal to be trusted now.
Soon we will speak of love
and not mean each other.

“There is still something similar to a heart in him” – Nayana Nair

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There was once
something similar to a heart
trapped under his breathing flesh.
You remember that stage of wood –
the house of stories in skin,
that used to be hidden away
at the end of a road so narrow
that one could reach its door on knees.
His heart was that place
before it found a new real way to sing of ends.
Do you remember
the night of immense light three years ago-
the night of mad faith,
the burning of glazed wood,
the men who could only speak of hauntings,
of the cold breeze that lived under their skin
as they sought truth and reality
by burning the rest away.
He still repeats those words in his sleep,
those songs that are not really his,
the songs that should have never
been put to words.
Forgive him
or better ignore him,
for he is not entirely here.
A part of him is still burning somewhere.
A part of him is still trying
to survive the death of his world.

“All this destruction does something to me” – Nayana Nair

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The fork in my hand scratches furiously
at the new sheen of the borrowed plate.
The dense death
and the calcium of my hand tries to make a dent
in my green vessels, my skin too persistent
to break away, to let anyone else win.
My teeth runs away from cheap meat-
the soft fish, the bird drained of blood
lie wasted in the mouth of people as they
kiss and cave into equally hungry lying mouths.
My teeth digs in, tears into that one loveless heart,
trying to find some hunger for myself,
a hollow to store my excess, my too much,
the insufferable and the glittering overflow,
the by-product of life that doesn’t want to be lived.
All this destruction,
does something to me
I feel there is revelation, some hidden logic
these marks and sounds are leading me to,
so I flow along.
waiting for the moment when the desperate whimpers
give away to something else, something beautiful,
something that will make me finally cry
that will hurt me in the most irreversible way
something that will make me a human
capable of losing and loving anyway.
Maybe ‘the end’ is just a scary sign,
beyond which the life I wanted to live begins,
a place without illusions and truths.
A point of just easy breathing.”

“today’s weather is fashioning a hollow revenge out of my sorrow” – Nayana Nair

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“all those creatures of rotten wings
that circles above us,
not even waiting for our death,
not even the basic respect for a life
hanging by its broken teeth
on the clothes line of memory
in the unwelcome worrying winds
of this world,
what if we get to them first,
what if we didn’t use our last breath
to remember our love, to seek the god we never bothered
to think about in life, to raise our hands to give forgiveness,
to the ones who are already fighting over our funeral cost, to sit
by the trashcan fishing out and reviewing
our stories, our lives, only to let out a sigh,
always a sigh.
what if we take out the meanest arrow
in our anger filled, no-longer-shaking arms
and shoot them down, not even bothering
with threats and pleadings. what if we end things
with the sky lit in red. what if we end
it all ourselves. without wait. it sounds clean, mean,
and better. better than all the things
we are allowed to do with our last drop of strength.”

“what’s the meanest arrow you’ve got?”

“he, whose hands only know how to build. he, who only remembers grace.” – Nayana Nair

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there is a garden
wilting and blooming
in the most lovely ways.

your hands water them,
bring them up
in the softest light.

in the dying wind
you teach them love
and the geography of pain,

the correct way to place
names on lost tongues
and people in failing heart.

the world is ending
in the background
but you never take notice.

how lovely you look
as you worship this life
that has only broken you.

“By holding you back” – Nayana Nair

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And what do I desire
when I plant my body
in the path of storm,
when I place my hand
on your ailing nerve.

The ideas of gaining,
of becoming, of light –
the unholy invasive light
claiming all my hiding spots,
why do they seem to not matter.

The slow definite end
that I looked forward to,
whose hopes I relied on
to just breathe,
why does it seem hateful
when you are the one
moving towards it.

When my skin knows every surface
your struggling hands have grazed,
when I know sometimes
one cannot just go on,
why do I feel this all is unfair
when you are the one
who yearns to dissolve.

“the door opens, and i let in whatever comes in, whatever comes back” – Nayana Nair

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a rose sits at the center of the table.

the surface of wood is sinking,
going under, losing the feeling of its own legs.

everything that i pick up from the world
(the alien objects with the scent of decaying lemon)

their destination is this – this piece of furniture.
everything in this one room life can trace its origin back,

back to a person who is not me. i have been gifted life
and the tools to live. i have been gifted the recipes-

the best way to mix, bake, boil, and burn. every surface of rest
speaks and has a face, their face. their face frowns

at the taste of food i make and my inability to eat. the three meals i cook
never reach my stomach. i can only hope for sleep after these

pointless rituals of remembrance. hunger
is the last thing on my mind. on the mornings when i wake up

with eyes open for a change, i see the clutter for what it is. i see
the shrine and offerings and gods of past. i feel i am not really praying

but begging them to come back. “how to revive a god, how to be looked at again”
these are the thoughts that flood in me

every time an offering is rejected, every time the room remains dead.
the door opens only for me, only by me. a rose again breathes its last

in my hand. there is life i realize. there is life everywhere. but also
there is the end to it. both cannot be had at will.

the wait for both is never without pain.

“I nod with a smile knowing what it means” – Nayana Nair

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The sea in the cold basement
rises and falls and collapse around his moon eyes.
Last year, he was a deer forever running into shining lights.
Only yesterday, he was melting the roads he walked on.
Today his hands are cold and yet steady.
He speaks of himself, of me, of this world
in a voice of wind and thunder and love.
And after being other thousand things
I also have become today this light
that can find its origin to him.
The white perfect sails
of all that was and all that could have been
are drowning on every horizon.
“But nothing is ever lost.” he says,
“Everything comes back. Everything continues
to illuminate some life, somewhere.”

“The things we hate are sometimes the only things that can be counted upon” – Nayana Nair

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Even in my nightmares I had a home,
I had the warmth of my own
love-yearning heart whose selfish haunting
was more powerful than the sorrow
of the world itself.
Even when the night came
and killed the song of every bird.
Even when god abandoned my shadow,
even as I dreamt the eyes I loved
drowning in blood, floating towards my end.
I could live,
I could still write poems
under the light of my pain.