“Always Shining” – Nayana Nair

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Are they finally drowning?
The sails, the flags, the songs
the party, and the expensive backless silks.
The rings and guns and blood shining.
Always shining.
They are finally coming for us.
We will again have someone’s face in front of us
at least for a while
and we will sing songs
that they have no choice but to listen to.
The cries and shrieks and the stories
that we had saved in us will not go waste.

They have not yet seen us
rotting
feets and feets below them
but somethings take time.
The water will fill them
but they will never grasp
the slow violence and its finality.
They will look above at the lost sky,
they will not know what they are looking for
as the concepts of hope and god and saving
becomes grayer in their head.
They will keep struggling
feeling all promises becoming breathless in them
and they will miss the point of saying goodbye.
We always do.

Darling, they are coming
our children, our neighbors, our dear strangers,
our ministers, our wood, our sky, our eyes,
our new memories.
Now we can die together and actually die
and not be haunting blue in this green ocean.
I missed living dear
but I missed them more –
everyone, everything taken away from us.
We have waited patiently, wishing them life.
We have prayed for them to stay away from wherever we are.
But now they are coming
and I cannot help but selfishly smile
at seeing everything coming back to us.

“Even when things are right” – Nayana Nair

“The sky is your canvas”,
the book to all ailments said,
“there is a joy in filling it up with life.”
But as I finished my 157th sketch,
as I finished my 300th one,
as I finished the one with no count attached
(the one I called “the limits that were stronger than me”),
as I write over all that I had drawn,
as the clouds dragged themselves painfully
crawling to some better place,
like everything else in my life
the sky remained unchanged.

And when I lost my hands to fate, to slow corrosion,
to the burden of creation,
to the lady in white who couldn’t even lie that “it won’t hurt”,
to the painful work of making up things that I want,
things that would want me back, or at least won’t walk out,
to the hunch that said something is seriously wrong
with the kind of life I have.

I wished for the man in the sky
to wake up and get to work,
to make me some rain,
to drop an ocean of crystal on this world,
to paint a heaven on this cheap sky of this miserable man.

Because trying on some days, on most days now,
feels like living against the wishes of the world.
I can’t help but break a bit, cry a bit
even when things are right,
because they right only because of my efforts.
Can you give me something that I don’t have to work hard for,
something that was made for me,
something that I can keep.
A thing, a person, a sign
that I can hold in my hand
that tells me that you want me to be happy,
that you want me to smile,
that I am not abandoned after all.

“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.

“make me a flower” – Nayana Nair

It snowed all night.
All night I created stars for your eyes.
I bore the weight of the roof
as you slept, cried, ate,
smiled, memorized dial tones,
stared at me like you stare at screens with static,
paused expectantly as you told me the story
about your friend who is filled to brim with sugar
and seems bit odd
when he tries to smile a little bit more always,
filled me with a momentary fear of
whether you saw the corners of my lips tearing up everyday.

I felt again the illusion of love breaking,
its crack trying to find my spine.
Again you ran to me, trying to hold me,
trying to look over all the parts of me
that you don’t understand.

I slept and felt the snow of years settling on me.
I felt your wings fluttering around in my head.
I held the hands of god in my tiny fingers and said with a smile,
“make me a flower, if you can”
“make me something that is beautiful in her eyes”
“give me another sorrow, something simple,
something that can be understood and loved by her”
“let me look at her, without feeling the breaking in my heart”.

“The Year of Frost Starts” – Nayana Nair

You walk in with a cake of rust,
two hours late.
You kiss me ,
wait for me to smile,
to say thanks,
to make another offering of myself
at your shrine.

You tell me of love,
the only love that you cannot
get out of your heart.
This love that suffocates you these days
more than before.
How my face asks for too much,
even when my voice doesn’t.

I cross out and mess up the frosting
trying to hide the wrong name.
These days I don’t correct you,
or remind you of who I am,
and so you forget me just as I thought you would,
just as you promised you wouldn’t.

My half hidden sighs
tell me that I am just an appointment,
things that have to be done,
feel good pill of a the mean god
that you are.
The clearer I see this
the more I want to speak against you,
to hold you closer with my rage.

I want to speak of
all the facts I have on you-
the bitter candies from the assembly line
that my minds works overtime overnight,
to show you the moments
you hated yourself most
again and again and again.
I am weak like that.
I am mean like that.
And now I don’t want to be better.
I wasn’t like this always
but now this all I can be.

I don’t remember or expect a beautiful love,
now neither should you.

“today’s forecast” – Nayana Nair

today’s forecast
told me about rain
that might turn to snow
which might turn to pain in my knees,
it might turn into wishing for summer
(summer is always you lying on couch tired
cursing gods for seasons you hate),
it might move my hands towards the pills
that rarely save anyone needing saving
(i really don’t trust pills
if you are not the one handing them to me).
today’s forecast tells me i should stay in,
stay away from stepping out of myself,
that in my world only minefields of you are remaining.

“creation” – Nayana Nair

strangely
even there,
even on the canvas of my imagination
where I get to act the god,
even in that world
where you are nothing but my creation,
even there I can’t imagine
a happier end for us.

-o-

because i can edit our photos
on the cities we never got to visit
and i can write you some words, give you some hints
on how to make me want you want you back.
but even when your puppet hugs mine back
i know it’s only me, my hands,
my heart, my body, my hopes hanging onto something
that would never be you.

-o-

so let it go“, i tell myself.
let’s stop calling every ache by the name of love.
let’s put our ego to rest.

“What have my eyes lost sight of ?” – Nayana Nair

As I sing your praise
I end up recalling
how I used to look at you
as if you could save me.
But now we stare at each other
while my life remains what it is.
I don’t call it a mess now,
to get some sympathy out of you,
to get a miracle out of you.
I don’t call it a blessing
just so that you would know
that I appreciate what you gave me
and hope to get a little bit more.

One song, one hymn after another.
I play at the seams of my skirt.
I pick at the skin that I once was.
“is this how we lose ourselves?”,
I want to ask you.
“is this we become who we are,
by cracking and crumbling invisibly,
the moment to mourn-lost forever,
the innumerable funerals no one grieved at,
is this why growing up is painful for all?”.

Instead of prayers
I come to you with only questions.
Instead of your forgiveness
I end up asking your understanding
for what I have done and what I have become.

“Cutouts of Star Factories” – Nayana Nair

Though the sky is filled with lights
the nights on this land are lonely as ever.
Again I am in love
with a part of sky,
with things that we call heavenly
only because they are out of our reach,
only because they are not ours to keep,
because every god seems to love them more.

I end up on websites or with books that say
“this is how the universe looks”
“this how the stars are born”
“this is the most beautiful cloud you will ever know”
“this is something your tearful eyes can never see”.
That for every drop of light
there are an expanse of emptiness
which we cannot imagine.
That we are small and we are insignificant.

Funny how the love for things
that I thought couldn’t possibly hurt me
also takes me down the same path.
The path that I walked once
holding the hands of someone
made of flesh plastered with signs
of caution and warnings.

But it is different now.
I guess the difference lies in who tells this news to me.
If I am nothing, if this hurt that I feel because of you
is of minor importance,
if I have a life that will be easily forgotten,
then I do not have to kill myself only to be remembered well.
And maybe,
just maybe
I can forgive you for being human
and myself for not being humane enough.

“Letters from my lover” – Nayana Nair

what is the use of loving you
if you won’t speak less and be less for the sake of my ego,
if you don’t have the proportions or face to brag about,
if you won’t sleep with me,
if you have “anxiety attacks” just when i am having fun
(it is embarrassing, grow up)
if my mom won’t like you,
if you can’t give me the kids that i want,
if a career, a dream is still on your mind,
if you still want friends when you already have me,
if you want to write the stupid poems that make me look bad,
if you won’t consider me your god,
if you continue to live for yourself.

so dear, work hard.
work hard
or you will become useless to me.
there is only so much that i can tolerate for this love of yours.