“Paintings of springs and fault lines. Sketches of lost mothers.” – Nayana Nair

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She sings.
An echo, a heartbreak maybe,
something piercing, something invisible,
something not ours-
this is all that we are allowed feel
(as long as we want to feel).

She is everywhere.
She sleeps, buried under the heavy weight
of water and floating globes of life and
drowning boats and oil.
She is everywhere.

Yet her voice outlines every step we take.
Every dying step is a step lost to her name.
Running away is beautiful in this city.
The traces of our writhing, crawling, changing bodies,
painted on every stone, every wall,
doesn’t let us forget the dust of the world
we crushed by our hands,
doesn’t let us forget the word “home”.

All our journeys branch from her heart.
We sit huddled with out feet in water,
with our hands over fires dying out
and talk of her. Always her.

“Something is wrong with our core” – Nayana Nair

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At my core is a sickness-
something hideous and wanting attention,
always wanting attention,
your attention.

Your attention
is like a net that catches everything of sea
including me, but there is no one there
on that broken boat of your body, to pull you or me
out of these cold waters.

Outside these cold waters
our dreams are running on pavements of romance.
They run on our feets, they smile with our teeth
but then you fold yourself around me
and in a shiverng language remind me
that they don’t have our hearts
and maybe that’s why they have been spared our fate.

“I looked for you” – Nayana Nair

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In the orange forest of drowning suns
I saw your face in the light going out first.
I stood with my empty nets, on a boat, with oars
that won’t budge, won’t sail away from your closing eyes.
I played this only memory I had of you
throughout my journey back.
When my feet found a ground to breathe again,
you had already grown bigger, sadder, scarier,
sorrier presence in my life.

Through my dinner that night,
I thought up names you may have had,
the people you may have loved,
the heartaches you thought would never end.
I thought of how easily things end,
how nothing in our heart
can save our heart from this lonely end.
Were you thankful or sad that you had to know this,
to share this realization
with a stranger made of cold eyes and numb limbs?

That night I looked for your body in every ocean I had in me.
I don’t know what was the point of this search
but I knew I had to do something about you,
that my feet had to walk distances because of you,
that something in me must hurt more than it did now.
That finally I had to die with you,
to know what I don’t know now,
to know even a fraction of your pain.
I was sad and relieved that my need to know you
ended there – with that thought,
with the steps I cannot take.

“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.

“Summer Mood” – Nayana Nair

my feet relentlessly insist
on burning themselves
for the sake of summer mood.

i wear a shirt too big for me.
a wear a smile a bit too small.
i wear the worry of my parents on my neck.

i feel their fear
when i smile back at strangers.
i pretend to be the sand that no one can hurt.
i pretend to be the sea that doesn’t end.
i pretend no man in this beautiful scene
would hurt someone like me.

but my feet, they burn, they bleed.
my feet that only wanted freedom
from the moment i was born,
now they make me feel like the mermaid
who was not wise enough.

i feel like i am losing a part of myself
every time a stranger asks for my name,
every time they accidentally touch my skin
to fill me with shame and sin.
i pretend to be cool, to be understanding,
to be blind
as i feel like the monster
that brings out the worst in people.
as i erase my memories everyday
to put faith in people whom i find hard to trust.

“I have nothing of you” – Nayana Nair

I walked into troubles, into fogged minds,
into friend circles that cultivated their alter egos
on every meager piece of earth
that they otherwise couldn’t plant their feet upon.

I walked into crumbling cities, into impossible dreams,
into the lifeless replicas of your heart-
hoping you would come after me.
But as time ate me up
I just hoped that you’d remember name at the least.

I wish that you had stepped a little closer to me,
given me false hope, and broken my heart.
but I have nothing of you,
nothing to hate you for,
nothing to remember your love by,
except the empty place I made for you to stay in me
– the only part of me that makes living difficult for me.

“Same Strength” – Nayana Nair

The bridges fell one day
leaving me stranded on the other side of the place
that could have been my home.
A home.
I realized only when I was placed out of it.

These bridges that betray me now
have once been the only companion to my lonely feet.
All that kept me alive
have turned against me, and it hurts
only because I remember the days
when I loved them for the same strength
that they now use against me.

“What I Remember (3)” – Nayana Nair

 

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somehow that is where i always found myself.
crushed between the expectation that i had from myself,
even if these expectation in no way could be ever called achievement,
even if i could fulfill them.
maybe that is precisely why i felt
so crushed when my plans didn’t work out.
it was not because i asked for something small
and didn’t get it.
but because even though i had set such
an easy goal to achieve
i was not able to reach it.
the problem with those small goals were
that they didn’t exist because i was humble
or because i didn’t need much in life, or was satisfied easily.
i set them up within reason.
i set them up within my reach.
i found them as something that could be a stepping stone for me,
as something small that i can hold in my hand
wherever i went
to remind myself
that i am capable of something,
even if it is not something great.
and that’s why i used to be frustrated with myself
that i was not even capable of the minimum.
i could say it is almost in past though.
this calculation of what i could do,
finding something smaller than my assumption of my capability,
failing at it in epic way,
and reducing my own worth in my eyes.
i can say it is in my past
because now the circle of what i can do
is so small
that it has only space for me to stand.
that would explain by blues.
that would explain a lot of feelings
whose origin i can’t seem to trace these days.
that would explain why i am no longer afraid of dreaming
but incapable of doing so.
because all my efforts are spent on keeping my feet firm on this ground
which i now know is too easy to loose.

“Effortless” – Nayana Nair

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On the other side of this puddle,
where my feet is caught,
is the ocean of joy
in which I wandered
only to be caught in the hook of the sadness
that slips into my wound so effortlessly
that the pain felt like love,
because it felt like the only thing that I could call as mine.

“Lost” – Nayana Nair

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We found each other on an unfamiliar street,
lost in the vanishing promises and fickle feet,
on journeys of days
to all burnt down plays,
holding the copied out lines,
clutching the words we will never get to say.