“The door opens slowly” – Nayana Nair

I turned another corner
and walked into another house
that I knew nothing about.
The owner, the god of this land stood there
outside in the garden
telling a child how to create more beautiful loops,
how to somersault,
how to find more worms, more of everything.
An adult placed like a talisman
that couldn’t keep me
or what I bring with me away.
He didn’t even notice the grave that I carried in me,
the open pits in ground awaiting more bodies.

I walked to the front door and rang the bell
thinking, wondering what must I not be seeing
in the person I see as a fool.
I wonder if the graves in him didn’t love him back as well.
The door opens slowly and I wait.
I let my willingness to wait announce to her that it is me.
She makes me a wait a bit more-
that is the nature of game we are caught in.

Seconds and hours I spend on her couch,
waiting for the commotion outside to end,
for “the happy family on a sunday morning” to end.
She has four brother
and an almost sister that they never talk about.
She reminds me this a few more times
so that on the mental map of belonging and similarities
I find this unnamed sister closer to my role.

They rush in like a flood, like a rain gone wrong-
all these bodies that I am not supposed to see.
“They are perfect”, I thought to myself.
I thought of my mother, the anger in my home,
the counting of countless miseries,
the coarse harsh words that filled my eyes, then filled my mouth,
the gentle sunsets that drown only dreams.
“They are perfect”, I think, “for someone living in the same world as me”.

She tells them about my scholarships, about my fragile upbringing,
about the art that runs in me.
She tells them all about the things that they like.
For today she has made them into me.
I smile and say a little too less.
I smile as if I mean no harm.

But I know
I am here.
I am here and there is no escape
from the fact that eventually
I will sit in this room with my love
and with a glitter pen running out of ink.
I will draw, deepen the cracks that I already see.

Such is my nature.
Such are the songs that I live on repeat.

“On Erasing Roads” – Nayana Nair

The dead world lives through her.
Her escape is a door left open
for the violence to spread,
or so she always believed.
When she saw someone who reminded her of love,
saw that the fragile bird of happiness
would choose sit by her window and wait for her to sing back,
when all that could make her feel safe and somehow better
smiled at her and asked her name.
She would remember how from her skin and her mind
grew trees of fear every night.
The flood that has left her land
loomed above this forest.
Anytime the cloud would burst,
the past would burst through her smile,
and all would be lost.
Today, tomorrow, day after,
on an afternoon when she would forget about it all,
on a beautiful day like that
she knows she will find sorrow again.
So she stays quiet and writes a softer tragedy
of a girl who could never tell her name
to anyone who chose her hoping for happiness.

“Now playing: the ominous names you are yet to know, yet to resent” – Nayana Nair

I board the train that I could
thinking,
only thinking about the one I couldn’t.
There are only tunnels, only darkness,
no network,
only cold metal that I rest my head
hoping for my fever to come down,
only windows that turn into mirror.

In those momentary mirrors
I always look like someone on life support.
In the crowd that no longer suffocates me
I cling to the wires that fill my ears
with the sound of past, with love that will never come back,
with the love that I will never be,
with everything I can’t bear to talk about nor forget.

Though it pains me to look at myself for more than 2 seconds,
I force myself to withstand my stare.
For if I take my eyes away from me
I end up looking into eyes of strangers
who twist and distort their faces
asking for a reason they can understand
or they end up looking away,
their heart as fragile as mine.

We all act as if we can know each other by a glance,
as if we would prefer to be the backdrop, the wallpaper
than to find eyes that can actually see us,
than to know one more human who is hell bent on proving
the brittleness of our species.
I understand their heart, their fear all too well.
My skin remembers what their heart has forgotten.
Though I don’t think anyone really forgets things like these.

“The Noise of Empty Heart” – Nayana Nair

I close your heart.
I stitch you back
in a same haphazard way
I do almost everything in life.
The same way I knocked down
every clumsy fragile landmark
that could have actually helped me at the end.

From your mouth I have come to know
that my hopes are tied to the throats of my saviors.
That you are disgusted as you see me
sitting on top of sleepless nights
as I help myself with another serving of self-pity
that I won’t be able to digest.
That I laugh a little too long at the every joke
that the world plays on repeat,
all the while the cruel thread that I am
I cut the skin, I cut the voice, I cut the air.

“this what i am, change me in an easy way, see this is how i am hurting, why won’t you look at me when you said you wanted was the real me”

I say as I try to crawl back into the hide of your love.

“i will stitch you back, if i have hurt you. if you want to hear goodbye, i will say it a thousand times. please, please stop crying. please for once hesitate before you ask for the door out. ask for once if it was easy to take in your sorrows, your demons, your cold shoulder. ask for once how i have fared, how i have come this far, how am i letting you go, letting you be, after loving you so badly. “

“A Butterfly in a Concrete World” – Nayana Nair

now i only remember her smile.
it is stuck in my mind like a song.

now all i want is to be the reason
of the this beautiful spring
on the landscape of her face,

just a bird who sits
on a branch of her heart,

just the the light
that passes through her fragile wings.

“Burnt Dreams” – Nayana Nair

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My night melts into dreams of you
and even when I loose my dream
I loose my sleep,
the night stays with me.
The broken strand of hair on my shoulder
could have been your tear
if it had not passed through this night
I live with,
if it was not born in the fragile dream
that you are.

“New Limitations” – Nayana Nair

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I tended to all the brokenness
that now remained on your skin
after they found you at places
where they didn’t want you to be.
I hoped it was only your skin
that was red and sore.
The more silent you sat,
the more my heart worried.
As you tired to smile for me
I felt that maybe I was also a strain on you,
even me sitting here was more than what you could handle.
I felt that even if I sat here all night beside you
I would only be an obstacle in your way
to reconciling with your new limitations,
to return to what you were.

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Is it selfish of me to come to you,
look after you
only for the sake of having you as I liked you?
So that I don’t have to wonder how to walk around you
as if you were most fragile broken glass
that I didn’t want to be around,
that if I fix you somehow
things would get better.
Then we would only have to think about
where to go for brunch, what to buy, what to watch
rather than sitting here
and second-guessing our words and action.
Rather than feeling helpless and inadequate
in handling this pain
that would be easier to forget if it was not in the face
of the one we love.

“Eventually” – Nayana Nair

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This jail, that I could not break out of,
it had bars made of petals,
ceilings lighted with memories
and under my feet
the hearts of people beating only by my love
(or so I wanted to believe).
It was the fragile nature of this confinement
that made my escape impossible.
And even though I was a captive-
that small space was also a world,
a less harsher world.

Once I make my way out,
there would be nowhere to return to.
It was a bubble that couldn’t be remade
by regrets and tears.
For many reasons, I promised myself an escape everyday
without even trying to leave.
I know I will leave eventually.
At some point, we all have left those rooms-
that feel like prison when lived in
and feel like unattainable dreams once lost.

“Growing Up” – Nayana Nair

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Growing up
we become closer to the person we are not.
How shallow the facade of maturity is.
How fragile the moments when we feel a human,
how quickly they are lost.
How we grapple at the loose ends of what’s left behind.
How we ask ourselves questions
and write about person in the mirror.
How everything we want
is already in past
and everything in future
is just a compromise.

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