“Whatever good remains” – Nayana Nair

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I looked at the beautiful beautiful plate,
the rice lit like pieces of paradise,
the spice, the salt,
a garden, a farm,
a forest fit into morsels.
I wanted to write about food
and realized how it no longer fills me
but what feeds me are the hands that make them.
Carefully they serve the empty cold plate,
fill it with love and color and texture
and sprinkle “i love you” and “hope you are always happy”
and “hope you are always full” without restrain,
always, always in excess.
But I am never full,
and I am often not happy.
I eat this world and their love
always with half my heart heavy
with ugly yearning for things that cannot be.
But whatever good remains of my heart
remains because they love, they care
for me like this,
without reconsideration,
without restrain,
always,
always
in excess.

“Getting better and better” – Nayana Nair

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I don’t trust myself with water these days. Of late I have found my arms devoid of the will to struggle. I seem to be getting better and better at abandoning myself.

I now only stand rooted at places where life comes easy. I only linger in spaces where not-breathing is more difficult than breathing. Against my best efforts, all I do is try to live.

The ways to live, the painful familiarity of the world, this stone stuck in my shoe, pressing against my sole, it all used to be unbearable. For long I tried to find a way to live with it. I always failed to find its use.

But now I know how to surround myself in the suffocation of it all, to fill my mind with the smoke of this crude life as I learn to see from scratch again. Hold parts of me captive somewhere, till the rest of me can chip away at my spirit that only sings of blood and end.

Today, in the hot summer afternoon, covered in breaking illusions, I walked away from the lake where my past swims. I unlearn one more pain. I found a road I had never seen, a garden never tended to, a foot of mountain where there was abundance of fruits and all new reasons to live.

“he, whose hands only know how to build. he, who only remembers grace.” – Nayana Nair

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there is a garden
wilting and blooming
in the most lovely ways.

your hands water them,
bring them up
in the softest light.

in the dying wind
you teach them love
and the geography of pain,

the correct way to place
names on lost tongues
and people in failing heart.

the world is ending
in the background
but you never take notice.

how lovely you look
as you worship this life
that has only broken you.

“Face this smile that wants to break and feel normal” – Nayana Nair

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Home is here.
Come touch this wall,
touch this heart that wants
to stand with you here,
in every withering garden,
in middle of every nowhere.

The blossom of stories
that creeps up your spine
it wants a part of that.
It wants the sweetness of hope.
It wants the death of normal.
It wants end of every story
that has nothing to do with you.

Come here into these metal arms,
into this tent made of spider web
of hopeless love.
Face this smile that wants to break for you.
Come, this could be home,
this could be the place your can tears free
anyway there is only breaking here.
There is only dull colors of heaven,
there is only me-
who has never been anything magnificent
but still wants to be one with you fate
whatever that means.

“You may find my garden” – Nayana Nair

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The spring may find my garden
but it cannot make me flower.
I am beyond the reach of its hand.
I am beyond the point of return.
I am where only my love can exist,
not me.

“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.

“Red Gates” – Nayana Nair

I drowned the flowers
one by one.
The poison of beauty
now runs through the rivers
on this land,
they fill his backyard
in every season of rain.
A child with his smile
drowns another boat of dreams,
the flood is a field of paper,
the flood is all that is left of me.
She stares into me,
waiting for a reflection to surface.
She walks into me
to see where I end.

She tells me about the boy
she can’t love and the boy
she can’t blame
as I dissolve and submerge
the red gates of her house,
the garden of forgiveness,
her school shoes, all roads to her friend
who doesn’t smile back anymore,
the spoons that remind her of hunger
for farthest worlds and people.

She asks me how deep will be this pain
of losing herself, how long she would have to smile
through this hate.
I flow into her heart,
wondering, if there
I could turn back to the flower I was,
if the end of my hate could be
the end of her pain.
If I could be her answer of hope.

“5 mins away” – Nayana Nair

As she places her coffee cup on the table,
her eyes sting and ribs hurt
to see the beautiful vase of her life
dearly holding onto the oldest withered flowers of her life.
Flowers were not meant to do this,
she knew.
She also knew
she need not be like this,
things need not be this way.
The market is just 5 minutes away.
When she has enough money to buy new gardens
why lament on handful of roses,
why think about people she can now never love.
But the decision to forget or remember
was never in her hands.
And now she cannot step out and face the world –
the same world who witnessed her pride and confidence
in another human whose faults she refused to see till the end,
the one she called her love.
She felt she owed answers to every one-
for loving the wrong one,
for loving the wrong way,
for seeking a new love,
for saying yes to someone better than her,
for her dissatisfaction
that eats through every heart she tries to love.
She didn’t want to go out and apologize
for wanting.

“Used to this” – Nayana Nair

The light is not enough.

I must somehow reach the empty glasses
that hold no memories, no magic.
They won’t light up,
and all I can do is to learn to live in dark.
I need to get rid of all of them.
Sure, sitting here in the prison of you,
calling it a garden of leftover love is romantic.
Sure, learning to do everything by myself
all over again can be sort of fun,
I used to be good at that.
It is easy, it is comfortable in fact
to live with this space
that I don’t want to name after you.
I like to say “I have gotten used to this”
as if my heart is bigger than every misfortune left in your wake,
as if I really know how to forget.

“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?