“Creature of Claw” – Nayana Nair

How long should I bleed
for the one who holds the knife.

I pluck another flower of kindness
to appease the one who won’t even smile for me.
He looks at it and tells me the tested foolproof ways
to kill this useless plant that grows in me
and cracks his shield.

He tells me he will love me more
if I will cut his skin
instead of making him look as bad as he is,
if I struggle a bit to get back at him
rather than struggle to know him like this.

He says
“i would like us to be peas of the same pod,
i would like us to be the insects with same appetite,
i would like you so so much more,
if you would help me rule this world
that doesn’t listen to me. if you could speak
the same words as i do, words dipped in careless anger
rather than the ones served with pity.
don’t tell me the danger of my dagger
by slicing away your skin. you feel more like an enemy now.
the more you bleed to make me suffer,
to make me give up, the farther you get
from the person i could love.”

How long should I bleed
for the one who holds the knife
to stop him from cutting his own heart.
This will hurt him, he knows,
eventually if not now.
Yet he is becoming a creature of claw with a paper skin,
he is growing a dream
from the horrors he has only read.
The unnatural pauses on his lips,
the look of helplessness in his eyes
makes me wonder if he even knows how to stop.

“Before Alphabets” – Nayana Nair

Before knowing the alphabets
of your name or mine,
I learnt to make you smile.
I pluck another flower that makes me sneeze every time
but the silly pathetic me smiles as you smile
as I crawl to you
losing balance,
losing something similar to heart,
as I dress you up in a mountain of petals I clenched too hard
hoping you would never move away from me.
How you dozed off as I made myself sick with my ambition.
How you were still sleeping as your mother took you in arms
brushing away every piece of my care.
But it is better than the days I woke up
with only the traces of my feelings, my cradle of flowers
without you in it.

“Picnic” – Nayana Nair

On a spread of fake smiling suns
and the unreasonably happy flowers in pink,
I kissed your smile
without wondering
what it meant for me in the long run.
Without knowing if you would want me back
the way I do.

And when you held on to me
I didn’t know how to stop my violent tears
or how to let you know
how your embrace
is the only thing that feels honest
to my worn out heart
or how precious this honest touch, this simple love
is to a person like me.

“The Scale of 1 to 10 (part 1)” – Nayana Nair

#the feelings that I can’t own

The nature of regrets that I have in my heart, the flowers that grow at the end of this knife, the watches that have run out of battery but pretend to have stopped time. I have so much space in me for things like these. I have so many curiosities that I can put up a shop with no intention to sell.

     I don't like my mind right now
     Stacking up problems that are so unnecessary
     Wish that I could slow things down
     I wanna let go but there's comfort in the panic
     - "Heavy", Linkin Park
     Distant lies - shallow dreams, confused ideas 
     Once our hopes - now they anchor all our fears 
     -"Lie", Arco
     Just by being next to you
     I was happy
     Don’t take even that truth
     And make it into a bad memory
     -"Last Goodbye", Akdong Musician

I have sketches of you, a face for every day that you have shared with me. I wonder if you would walk into this shop with another beloved of yours. Would she buy them all? Would you let me sell it to her?

     I loved you a lot
     Even if you say otherwise
     I didn’t want things to end this easily
     -"Go Away", Yong Jun Hyung
     But the thing that we all learned at some point was how
     To step on someone, to catch them, to erase them, to hate them
     -"Life", RM

This is not a post-you fear and post-abandonment feelings. I think I have felt that with you all along. Something about us, the way everything about us was a secret of sorts – you only told stories that I could never repeat.

     And I cried for you
     Like a widow cries at her lover’s grave
     You haunted me through my stinging nights
     And aching days
     - "Divers & Submarines", Passenger

I knew this all along.
I knew all your lacks, and I knew how you would give up on me rather than give up on all parts of you that stand between us.
I knew it, but I wanted to be wrong, just this once.

     Well I clung to you
     Like cat hair clings to a woollen shirt
     You needed me, like a wedding dress needs dirt
     -"Divers & Submarines", Passenger
     I bet you know just what you're doing
     You're not the type that's used to losing
     First, you build me up, then with just a touch
     Leave me here in ruins
     -"Dazed and Confused", Ruel

I hid from you all the parts of me, that could suffocate you – my love, my possessiveness, my confusion, my fear, my irrational suspicions created by most rational observations, my objections, my complaints, my hurt.

     We wanna be right
     But always wrong
     Were we born to be wrong?
     Is life something like that?
     …
     We tryna be bright
     But always dark
     We still don’t know if we’ve lived to the extent that we can
     -"Life", RM

But now, when I no longer have the obligation to hide anymore.
I end up lying, trying to protect you from the harsh words of this world, making everyone believe that you were lovable even when you were not. It would break my remaining heart for you to be hated, even when you deserve to be hated.

     What happens if I open my eyes, my eyes?
     Will I ever get my head right, head right?
     -"Dazed and Confused", Ruel
     I keep dragging around what's bringing me down
     If I just let go, I'd be set free
     -"Heavy", Linkin Park 
     Until the time that we die perfectly we can’t protect everything
     -"Life", RM
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“What I Remember (17)” – Nayana Nair

those who spent their lives
wrecking their hands to mould me into something better,
tried fruitlessly
to break me without pain,
to break me and make me into something
that would be accepted by this world.
they showered me with love
so i won’t know, won’t remember
how much it pained me or how much it hurt them
to have gifted me
this painful self-critical view of myself and this world.

while they are growing old, weak and distant
my love for them looks like a failed seed
that never grew nor flowered.
the years that i spent with them
has made me ungrateful.
i have become the fish that never thanked the water
that kept it alive,
thinking that is what water is meant to do.

with time
as a fail to become what i thought i am,
as i realize that doing or even knowing the right thing to do
becomes more impossible as you get to know this world,
i begin to understand the enormous love they must have had for me
to hold my hand and walk with me in a world
that they had never seen
only for my sake,
knowing that their courage and their tears
are destined to be forgotten (or worse- questioned).

and my love?
my love,
it grows in opposite direction of sun,
my love for them grows into the soil my heart
in a world where they won’t see and won’t know.
i will remain cruel and indifferent even in my own eyes.
so i hide my muddled feelings
and walk around those
who have made me what i am
whatever that may be.

“Red Sonnets” – Nayana Nair

red sonnets.
every morning,
you always gift me red sonnets.
and i always kiss you back,
the color of my lips fading
in front of acts of affection.

i put them on my bed
as i sleep on the floor.
i stir my soaking noodles
with a branch broken
from this bunch.
i bite the sides of my mouth
make myself cry a little bit more.

“Waiting for Winter” – Nayana Nair

if i carry a flower in my heart.
if i could name this flower after myself
and i walk into rooms where i do not belong
and tried to become a garden, become a spring
to all the orbs of winter walking past me,
would they stop and look into my eyes
and see the effort, the sincerity i am putting
to flower one last time?

“let me hold you close” – Nayana Nair

my heaven
would have flowers in blue,
a storm of sunshine,
a road that runs like the soft song
that you once made me hear,
a sparrow that never stays still.

obviously
i do not know what it would be like
to live in such a heaven.
whether i would really be at peace there.
but through the walls of stone
that i could never scale
it looked so beautiful-
the world that you lived in.

but i cannot break what i am
nor can i chase away the shadows that i depend on
it is too late for that.
so before i close my eyes for the last time
let me hold you close.
become my last memory,
become my heaven.

“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.

“Flowers used to bloom here” – Nayana Nair

There is a wall of flowers before her.
She looks at it as if they are a softer kind of firework,
a firework in reverse,
the colors leaving the petals, crawling deep into itself,
leaving the color of the inevitable sad ending
that Nature always ends up falling for,
after a series of boys who lied to her about a forever
in their mellow green kisses.

A lesson on subtraction
for a girl trying to learn
about the reasons and the ways
a void like hers is created.