“in the light that smiles nonetheless” – Nayana Nair

that’s where my anger lives

on the mud stains of a size 7 shoes
swimming on the white floor of my small apartment.

in the plants uprooted, in the marigolds strewn
and trampled on, in the light that smiles nonetheless.

on the streets where lives my fear – that finds me
and almost kills me, every time i hear footsteps behind me.

on the patronizing attitudes that i dutifully respond with gratefulness.
on the potential dangers, the possibilities of violence that every intimacy invites.
on the things i say yes to with a breaking heart.

in the mirror that only prizes my delicate frame and my weak wrist,
that tells me i would at least beautiful in the missing posters,
in the files housed in grim police stations,
in the videos and photos i would never get to know of (if i am lucky)

in the speeches that tell me i am safe
in the compartments and corners made for me.
soundproof corners where either
i would finally end up believing the facade, the lie of a safe world
or where i would learn how to stay silent to be spared the worst.

that’s where my anger lives

“my eyes miss everything” – Nayana Nair

i try not to think
about the places that are lost
and evaporated
only leaving clouds of colorless memories
floating on my not so blue sky

places that are lost
not only to me
but to this world
now no one will ever know the sweetness
of the light that was never beautiful enough
to be captured and framed
light that is only beautiful only in its death
beautiful only when it rises up without a reason
on the surface of our eyes

how my eyes miss seeing everything
that now cannot be seen
my eyes wake up from the dream of yesterday
into this new day that i must write
feeling that again i have lost something,
something meaningful in that dream
that will never return to me
a dream that i have no right to dream again

i try not to think about such losses
losses with name or reason or heartache
but no matter how much try
some days that is all i can think about

“Fictional Friends” – Nayana Nair

i break another glass today,
the girl with blue highlights in her hair
walks over it without bleeding
but tells me
not to try such things at home on my own,
that it took her years of invisibility
to even try such tricks.
but she has no suggestions for what else i should do
instead of breaking my smooth skin
and wrecking my good name.
so she tells me a story about a girl and wolf,
another about a girl and her impossible dream,
about a girl and her sad prince,
a girl and the dark world,
a girl and whatever wants to break her down.
she tells me i don’t have to be that girl.
that i just have to be person who happens to be a girl
and not hate herself for it.


it is night already.
i find myself in strange blue rooms.
i hold hands with another new stranger
who promises to sing me to sleep.
he walks like heartache that knows how to smile.
he pretends to be the real deal.
he is too drunk on his own sad story like me
to even see anyone else.
so no we are not in love.
i just want to borrow his songs,
his voice, his awareness of all that is wrong.
i look out of his window, at my own home
at my friends, at my love, at broken frame of my family,
at myself who is trying too hard
to be indifferent to it all.


the battery of my phone dies
and i am alone again in this life
that i can’t find my way around.
i am somewhat lost, tired,
and yet somehow happy
to have lived through this despair,
through another dark night.

“Remaining Life” – Nayana Nair

Hand me back my fear.
Remove all signs of caution.
Anyway, I am dying slowly.
I don’t want to know more.
I don’t want to know better.
Come into my mind.
Here there is no better.
There are only picture frames that do not break
even when they have lost the images they lived for.
It is not the persisting lack in me that makes me feel hollow.
It is the life remaining in my dying organs,
all the reasons that I have for living,
my willingness to invent a reason if needed.
All the substance that hides my lacking
highlights the vacancy in me.

“Out of Frame” – Nayana Nair

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My pictures are not about me
they are just replacable frames
filled with the skin I have shed
filled with people who have left
and with my smile that has changed
beyond recognition.
So I can’t help but look at them
and picture the happy life
this person must have had
when I know it is otherwise.
I have lost track of my memories
I have lost track of the reasons
for why I lived my life like that.
I have a fading list of afflictions
and its pain that I have learned
to live with or ignore.
As I age, I find
I can almost forget,
I can leave behind
whoever I was out of frame.

“Home” – Nayana Nair

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I will give you a list houses
that once used to be my home
and addresses that are the only memory
that has not been blurred
or manipulated by my mind.
If you ever want to find me,
go there.

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You will see the line of trees that
framed my sunrise
and almost dry riversbeds of
round white stones, where
I slipped once (or more).
You will see the duststorms,
and the heavy rains
I stood in.
You will see the the intersections,
I could never quite cross.
But all this you see,
is not me.

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If you want to find the ‘me’,
‘me’ that I do not know of,
that I cannot give you,
go there.
And look for windows I sat by.
Look for the cold floor I lied on.
Sit there and think of a girl
who never felt quite like a person,
who could look at what lay ahead
and know
that neither the path, nor the journey was hers.
Who only wanted a room flooded with
gentle light of drowning sun,
and songs that could make her sadness beautiful.

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“Our House” – Nayana Nair

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In that house that stands
on the border of two hearts,
where as your eyes scan the room
I became one of the collected belongings.
I found your curses and blames
hidden in odd places.
In the bottom of a tea cups, of tea made too sweet
In the peels of an apple left on tables.
In the picture frames full of strangers.
In the list of unanswered calls.
In the names you murmured in your sleep.
Where I ceased to belong to either world
and belonged just to you.
And it made me sad.
In that house
Where the promises feel the lack of ‘forever’.
I took my last breath
as your love.