“my most beautiful ruined self” – Nayana Nair

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the woman with red lips ,
with her body
flattened on the thickest
shiniest paper
stands dead, stands tall,
as big as the most reflective bone,
the most visible
and most sought assembly of bricks,
grown on the most affluent dreams.
she wobbles like a rootless tooth
when the wind blows.
inside the low blood walls,
across the road
that have never been stepped on,
she stands, she towers
and never dares to look down
on anyone but herself.
she smiles the smile that would have been
a sunrise-finally-felt
if only it was really meant.
if only it was all true
it wouldn’t have been
heart breaking to be looked at.

“blue dreams and railroads” – Nayana Nair

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so my blue dream
is not even mine now.
i am just a mesh of people who hate me.
their fingers are my fingers now
poking my skin, endless railroads of red are built
with their nails that they do not even cut
before they sell me their fake love-filled eyes.
their eyes are my eyes
that wants to smash every reflective surface where i fall.
every reflective thought is just a poison.
a poison, a gossip, an untrue version of me running wild
in the minds of those who look at me.
they gossip about me
so i gossip about myself ,
whisper my secrets into the air
or better, into the ears of lovers who are chosen
especially for their talents in indifference,
vulnerability, and emotional violence.
lovers who can break me – are all that i want.
i need someone else to do this breaking for me
because i am coward who can’t move towards the end i want,
and also because my hands are busy.
i have more things to do.
i need my hands to tear my talents apart
in the name of value, tear my feelings apart
in the name of my worthlessness.
i need my hands to paint again and again.
paint indifferences on my insecurities
that come a bit too often to the surface of my skin now,
paint laugh lines on the bleeding corners of my lips,
paint dreams of love, moments of hurt, grand betrayals
on my otherwise lonely mind,
paint humans that match the shadows in me,
painting causes and assurances.
i must paint.
i must paint a reason-
a reason why i suffer so,
why this world works like how it does,
why i must break as the world breaks,
why i must break even for fixing this world.
i must paint a face
so that others don’t break at the sight of my face.
i clip my nails everyday
so that when i become someone’s ghost
when someone suffers because of me
at least my hands won’t leave them scars.

“Shouldn’t that put me at ease?” – Nayana Nair

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The skin of the prophets and lovers
hangs with the fresh laundry.
The dices and glasses lie forgotten
in the broken and mutated stomachs of our pet fishes.
A pot of porridge sits on the blue counter.
The potatoes, the rice, the marbled peas grow soil,
grow eyes, grow tongue, grow memories that never were.
The imitations of porcelain crack under the weight of life.
It never used to be like that.

Life used to be small and delicate and beautifully framed
within the carefully drawn floral boundaries of plates,
within the pools of small spoons.
Life is no longer like that.
Now the book of tales burn
with the missing ladles
and fake money of games no one knows how to play.
Every piece of wood, every piece of our soul,
anything that burns, only burns only what we love.
Only what we love gets to die here.

Shouldn’t that put me at ease?
That something gets to escape this world.
But all that dying,
the small pieces scraped off again and again.
Isn’t that how we got to this-
this place where even pain is dull,
where even the hopelessness doesn’t come with a heartbreak.

“How to guard the doors and fail miserably” – Nayana Nair

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It is not the night that brings in the monsters.
They are just creatures, just nature-
that exist outside the door that you are guarding.

They come in because this world is theirs as well.
They come in because they can,
just like how you can go out.
This is the fair deal you don’t want to exist.

At least they do not look for you,
they do not mark your picture
and throw darts at it.
I love them for that,
for the lack of vicious premeditation,
the lack of fun in their delivery of hurt.

The river of pills that flows into my window
has nothing to do with them.
The hurt that keeps you awake,
the nails that slowly make marks
on the surface of your eyes

this ruined place, this brokenness
are always the gifts of the ones
who look like us.
This has nothing to do with the monsters.
This has nothing to do with nights.

But has knowing such things ever helped.
The days are just as frightful as nights.
Now anything that looks like me,
and everything that doesn’t –
they are possible ends of me.

Now I must either run away from everything
or must end up loving them all, forgiving them all –
this broken temple of knowledge, this fake shallow sacred unions,
these glorious wretched feelings that won’t let me remain me.
How far should I run. How foolishly should I love.
How do I decide.

“Last Kindness” – Nayana Nair

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“You were almost my whole world”, he said,
waiting for me to say something-
an excuse, an apology, a lie that would make him
as important as I seem to be in his words.

His belated words are always beautiful,
his love always drips at the corners of every end
that I try to carve out of us.
Once it was an assurance to know all our ends are fake.

Once I was made of dreams,
once he was made of songs,
and now we are back to being mere flesh
that we can’t accept each other for.

Now we are pretty sure
we can live without dreams that hurt
and that there are other songs, better sounds
that won’t cut us up before we are dead.

Yet he tries to care for the one he no longer wants
as I try to stay silent for his sake, for my sake,
for an end that doesn’t drag on.
Or is it to look pitiful and arrogant in his eyes.
His eyes liked me best when I couldn’t be wavered,
when I seemed something more than just a needy heart.

I wonder why we try to look humans even as we part,
why we must show the faces we have grown to hate ourselves for
and act like lovers in pain, like this is the end of our lives.
When love was the last thing we needed,
seeing it was the only thing we were ever ready to give up on.

“I cannot tell the difference”- Nayana Nair

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“Long time ago” is a dangerous neighborhood.
All its season are holograms of perfect world,
the illusions of rain and snow and sun,
the illusion of hearts still beating under the non-existent skin.
The technician of this a weary magic
lives beside the empty park in the middle of my heart.
He knows the perfect days to make me cry, to make me see.
He invents new people, new details.
Sometime these are fake stand-ins for the what he has lost
in his war against me, all that I intend to forget.
Sometime they are what I failed to realize,
people I didn’t get to love.
Most days I can’t tell the difference
between the words I have forgotten
and the ones I will never hear
again.
This town
has post offices with stamps of words I no longer mean
stuck on its wall.
There cars and houses and roads and rivers
owned by people who will never die.
They all gather on my birthday
in the cemetery of one grave.
They sit on the endless green grass with their picnic baskets,
with the kids I will never have, with the pets I will never keep
and look into the eyes that will never look at me.
They smile knowing something I will never know.

“Is it now?” – Nayana Nair

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I have seen snails and snakes
from a distance of two feet.
They were scary and I was scared.
Even when they vanished, I remained scared.
I remained scared
of everything that stood two feet away from me,
asking me, “Now what?”,
“Is it now, that you run and not look back?”

I have seen friendship
from the distance of words
I could never type.
I sent them new year,
friendship day, diwali,
doomsday celebration greetings
but I never sent them my heart.
They too figured with time
that they could live without me,
without this heart of mine
they have only heard about.

When I see them smile for me
across the street
that we both won’t cross
I wonder if I should smile back
and extend this period of pain, this pretense

or should I see through them,
to set them free

or should I walk closer, to fill their heart
with the horrid images of the real me,
to let them see the dying me,
to let them see the things they can’t do anything about.
Would they love me for real if I did that
or would they look me from the distance of two feet
as I ask “Now what?”
“Is it now, that you run and not look back?”

“What are we doing now?” – Nayana Nair

Another chance
to get our high
from the powdered dust of dreams,
from digging desperately, getting closer to the voice
of the demons we buried just yesterday,
breaking nails and curfews to
save the skins we can’t live without.

Another chance
at making a home,
choosing colors for our ceilings,
choosing the sides we will sleep on,
choosing not to be the ones we have always been.
Another chance, another precious child to be broken,
another angel dress to be painted red
waiting for our hands, for our tasteless kiss.
Choosing everything that leads us to lives
that couldn’t possibly have been ours,
couldn’t have been so wrong.

I know we are the only ones
who can give each other chances.
Chances – that we are so fond of.
But do we need to call it love?

Though we have tried and tried
and have run out of things that can be fixed.
Do we have to call this happiness
just because we have been told we must?

Do we have to ruin every word, every feeling
that we have not felt yet,
just because we fear we may never feel them otherwise.

“Waiting for the fireworks to end” – Nayana Nair

In her loudest, happiest voice
she told me about
one of her near-death loves,
how she wished her skin
would stop keeping her alive.
She laughed at how we both
always find something awfully painful or ugly in common,
how we should probably never call each other
just to remind each other of the spite
that lives in our blood.

I moved her lackluster glass of
fake green mojito by an inch towards her
and looked past her
at the couple who sat closest to the sky.
The wind that touched them called out to me again,
reminded me about my trembling legs
and my heart that didn’t want to give up yesterday.

I told her about the fall – my bad decision,
my backing out again at the last minute-
another really bad decision.
I told her someone needs to lock me up
before I take any more decision
as I showed her my new skinned knee
and told her in detail about
all parts of me that were filled with pain even now
only because of that one moment
in which I wanted to live more than anything.

She walked towards the the railing
decorated with hearts that won’t light
and found herself a seat, placing her elbow
carefully away from the mess that
the ones in love left behind.
She waited for me to follow her as I always do.

I stood behind her and felt a fear
very similar to mine swimming in her mind.
I wanted to tell her, it will get better.
but I couldn’t. I wanted to believe in this,
in this hope for better;
if not for me, at least for her.
And I knew she had nothing to say now
because her throat was also crowded by the words
she doesn’t believe. We are painfully alike
even in our search for hope, even when we are searching it
for each other.

“the constant part of love” – Nayana Nair

i remember your hands and their warmth
like i remember
the versions of me
that were easier to live with (or so i think).
the colors, their unnatural brightness,
the scent of acetone always lingering
on the tips of your fingertips,
always hiding a sad rainbow (just my type).
always a star that you forgot to rub and break,
shined on your skin.
under my lips, they shined brighter than my world.
i swam to them as they stood in a world of darkness
in the shapes of you and me.
it is so odd
that in my constantly breaking and building and growing
brain and its images and meaning-
everything about you meant love.
i loved your flower hairpins and fake bullets
and the magazines of the the people you would rather be
and the window you glanced out of when didn’t want to look at me
and your back against mine.
it is odd
that i could love you so
even when i didn’t know why?