“Staying awake, staying alert” – Nayana Nair

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The glass window creaks
under the weight of my head.
I wonder if I should sleep.
Not that it is in my hands. I wish it was .
But then I am afraid
of wishing for anything
that I might not be able to bear-

like her face alive in my dreams,

like seeing myself with a smile
that I can never wear again,

like wanting to smile again
even when I do not want to want such things.

Even when I stay awake, stay alert
to the turning and tossing of my heart
even when I stay glued to the place I had in her heart,
I feel that time is dragging me away
from everything that is painfully comfortable and familiar and lost.

I feel the world trying to rush back into me.
I feel I might lose her too soon, too easily.
I fear there is only so much that my heart can take.
I fear that I will find the peace that I do not want to feel
at the other end of this suffering.

“this peace, this staying, this wanting” – Nayana Nair

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I have spent 10 years
of my life decorating my wooden coffin,
giving food, giving faces, and adding height
to my imaginary friends
and painting forgiving smiles on my imaginary gods.

I won’t mind if someone out there decides to call me
“coward” or “delusional” or “hopeless” or “sorta weird”
I won’t mind if this qualifies
to be called “running away from reality and life”.

Even if I ignore the words like these,
even when I have found a way to survive alone
I am still left with these corrosive, acidic feelings.
Feelings don’t help – when all they do is
speak, wail louder each day.

They remind me again and again
that even a beautiful death is a death,
that loneliness is still loneliness,
that in spite of the ribbons and flowers and posters
the smile on my face is still not as bright
as the one love used to give me,
even if I have now less reasons to cry.

It is not easy – this peace,
this staying away from the want to be seen, to be loved,
this wanting to cry over something again.
It is not easy – to keep myself awake and alive
when feeding myself, seeing the light
only makes my fears stronger.

“Always Shining” – Nayana Nair

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Are they finally drowning?
The sails, the flags, the songs
the party, and the expensive backless silks.
The rings and guns and blood shining.
Always shining.
They are finally coming for us.
We will again have someone’s face in front of us
at least for a while
and we will sing songs
that they have no choice but to listen to.
The cries and shrieks and the stories
that we had saved in us will not go waste.

They have not yet seen us
rotting
feets and feets below them
but somethings take time.
The water will fill them
but they will never grasp
the slow violence and its finality.
They will look above at the lost sky,
they will not know what they are looking for
as the concepts of hope and god and saving
becomes grayer in their head.
They will keep struggling
feeling all promises becoming breathless in them
and they will miss the point of saying goodbye.
We always do.

Darling, they are coming
our children, our neighbors, our dear strangers,
our ministers, our wood, our sky, our eyes,
our new memories.
Now we can die together and actually die
and not be haunting blue in this green ocean.
I missed living dear
but I missed them more –
everyone, everything taken away from us.
We have waited patiently, wishing them life.
We have prayed for them to stay away from wherever we are.
But now they are coming
and I cannot help but selfishly smile
at seeing everything coming back to us.

“The eyes of my mother” – Nayana Nair

I planted the idea of a happy family,
a happy tomorrow,
into the eyes of my mother
with breaking tips of my pencils
against her granite eye lashes.

I told her the story about the boy
who is ever so sad
because his parents didn’t care enough,
who weeps on his empty birthdays,
who weeps into my heart.
I tell her I am not so fine myself.
Maybe she didn’t hear me clearly,
cause she didn’t stop
her daily charade of writing her “the last letter”.

I cleared her bed, her table, her words, her being
from the perfectly modeled replica of world in my mind.
I showed her, “Look, this is how I will look
with you gone. Look, look at what you must not do to me.”

She pulled me close, and held my hand for a bit too long,
a bit too tenderly
as if letting me know, telling me
“Look, this is how I look when I am alive.
Look, look at me pouring out of myself, dragging my feet
even till the end. Look, look at what I can no longer live as.”

And I stood there for a long time,
slowly understanding things I possibly couldn’t.
I stood there for a long time,
till my mom’s face was replaced by that of the ever so sad boy
as he held me, letting me cry into him
for the hundredth time.

“My grief has my face” – Nayana Nair

My grief has my face.
My grief has only questions in her eyes-
questions that require me to cry
and accept the cruel face of the love I have got.
My grief instead gets my silent embrace,
my refusal to choose better, for her sake or mine.
My grief has my face
and my heart that only knows defeat
and only in defeat has found comfort of love that cannot live in me.

“Variant of Love” – Nayana Nair

You held me as I broke again and again.
Your warm chest tried to hold me, to keep me alive.
I couldn’t cry anymore
I felt indebted to you I loved you.

You left me again
in the crowd that you promised to protect me from.
I called you, your number and you name-
becoming useless to me with each passing day.
I cried because
I felt cheated I loved you.

As my heart filled again, as it emptied itself out
you stayed in front of my eyes
in flesh or in glowing illusions,
telling me, nothing is wrong with me.
So I slept peacefully
because you made me forget my incompleteness I loved you.

You told me love is supposed to be a pain anyway.
That this smile of mine that shined in spite of your mistakes,
in spite of your cruelty on my weary hopeful heart
was the only thing that made you believe in my love.
And again I smiled back
so that you continue to believe me
because I loved you.

There were moments, glorious ones,
when you were the most the beautiful human,
when you cried for me,
when you cried for the world,
when you tried to do something right.
I wanted to stand beside you
so that I could protect you somehow
because I loved you more for it.

But now
I must face the world and myself alone,
without having to become something right in your eyes.
Now I don’t have to round up my every feeling
to a variant of love.
Now I can care for you, hate you
and see it as care and hate and a frustration without an end.
Now I can see you as the miracle and as the failure that you are.
Now I can be a failure myself.

I am not good at loving in the past.
I can only be honest.
Now I cannot look back at you
and call you my heart.
You were so much to me
that I badly wanted to be something that you want.
I kept on sleeping to keep your dream intact
and calling this love, when it clearly was not.
Even though it was probably something better than that.

“Always, Only” – Nayana Nair

You told me of love and what it does to your heart
and how your heart wants to see me and love me alone.
But it is too hard. A harder task than you imagined it to be.

You loved me for my silence, for my grace of letting you go,
and for the tears in my eyes
always, only for you.

You stand outside my heart, filling my insides with
your shadows, with your hopes.
Becoming my only light.
Asking me to step out of myself,
asking me if I am up
for another search of your heart-
that you have left behind
in someone else’s heart tonight.

You kiss my hand and tell me
you like this better-
me being your hope, your home
rather than being your wretched love-
the love that that leads you to your worst face.

I close my eyes
and again
I try to forget
what I wanted you to be,
what I hoped you would be for me.
I try to forget the wretched love you have become.

“A lot like your heart” – Nayana Nair

Yours is the name I take with
everything that feels like fate
but it isn’t.

I have walked towards you
every time I saw your face.
I have cursed my feet and my heart
when you left me again.

I can’t feel wronged,
because you won’t let me.
You have a way with my heart.
You know the hurt I cannot give you back.

I live in a lonely place
that looks a lot like your heart,
but only better.
Only here,
the happiness you won’t give me
is for my taking.

Here,
I see you pining for my smile.
In my sleep
I matter to you as much as you do to me.
Only in my dreams.

Only in my delusions
exists the reason-
why it must be you.

“We are not made for any season” – Nayana Nair

The cold that we depended on
to hide our hearts
didn’t last long.
First our warmth, then our fire,
then our wild will-
one by one they convinced us
why we need them, that without them
we’ll never actually live.
One by one
everything we didn’t want to be
stood facing us, climbing higher and faster
on our ladders out of our hell.
I kept repeating my lies
and you kept repeating them back
and tried to call it love.

“The Year of Frost Starts” – Nayana Nair

You walk in with a cake of rust,
two hours late.
You kiss me ,
wait for me to smile,
to say thanks,
to make another offering of myself
at your shrine.

You tell me of love,
the only love that you cannot
get out of your heart.
This love that suffocates you these days
more than before.
How my face asks for too much,
even when my voice doesn’t.

I cross out and mess up the frosting
trying to hide the wrong name.
These days I don’t correct you,
or remind you of who I am,
and so you forget me just as I thought you would,
just as you promised you wouldn’t.

My half hidden sighs
tell me that I am just an appointment,
things that have to be done,
feel good pill of a the mean god
that you are.
The clearer I see this
the more I want to speak against you,
to hold you closer with my rage.

I want to speak of
all the facts I have on you-
the bitter candies from the assembly line
that my minds works overtime overnight,
to show you the moments
you hated yourself most
again and again and again.
I am weak like that.
I am mean like that.
And now I don’t want to be better.
I wasn’t like this always
but now this all I can be.

I don’t remember or expect a beautiful love,
now neither should you.