“I cannot tell the difference”- Nayana Nair

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“Long time ago” is a dangerous neighborhood.
All its season are holograms of perfect world,
the illusions of rain and snow and sun,
the illusion of hearts still beating under the non-existent skin.
The technician of this a weary magic
lives beside the empty park in the middle of my heart.
He knows the perfect days to make me cry, to make me see.
He invents new people, new details.
Sometime these are fake stand-ins for the what he has lost
in his war against me, all that I intend to forget.
Sometime they are what I failed to realize,
people I didn’t get to love.
Most days I can’t tell the difference
between the words I have forgotten
and the ones I will never hear
again.
This town
has post offices with stamps of words I no longer mean
stuck on its wall.
There cars and houses and roads and rivers
owned by people who will never die.
They all gather on my birthday
in the cemetery of one grave.
They sit on the endless green grass with their picnic baskets,
with the kids I will never have, with the pets I will never keep
and look into the eyes that will never look at me.
They smile knowing something I will never know.

“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.

“Dissociate” – Nayana Nair

my other head
bleeds and falls off
as does my bloody knife

i can no longer call myself a victim of life
now that my sin is set in stone

few more hours for the sun to rise
few more hours i must bear the company of my face
in few more hours the world will love me
now that i look like them and kill like them
they will surely love me
for having one less brain and one less mouth

my eyes look back at me
not accusingly but with pity
of what have i done to myself
but i dare not cry
and act as if i am the one being wronged
my tears- i’ll be burying them under the red petunias
that you loved

my hearts beats furiously
as if running towards something, perhaps an end
end of me? end of her?
it feels wrong saying “her”, “you”
as if a knife is all it takes to set things conveniently wrong

i close the door and leave my open mouth
and questioning eyes on the kitchen table
i break a nail and break my heart
as i dig two graves for myself

“feelings suspended in the void of my heart” – Nayana Nair

Everything you do,
everything I say
is suspended in the layers
of admiration and disbelief.
What I feel lies somewhere between
“the love that is” and “the love that cannot be”.
This place,
where my uncertain feelings live,
here you will find my many graves
and here I will die again.
Not because your love can’t save me,
but because I doubt every heart
that holds me too dear,
I want to run away from this love
that is ready to die with me.

“Only Me” – Nayana Nair

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Stay here with me.
Everyone else has forgotten you dear.
Only me,
it is only me that carries you everywhere it rains,
everywhere the Sunday morning starts with empty table and aching heart,
everywhere the number blinking in my phone is not yours.
It’s only me
that wakes up in this nightmare of life
clutching what should have been your hand,
that walks into every shops that would have caught your eye.
It isn’t easy to walk into stores
and think of your absent giggles
as my only future that would never arrive.
It isn’t easy
but I can do it.
I can keep a space for you
everywhere I go,
I can keep aside an extra plate for you.
I can live as if you are here
if only you’d stay hidden with me.
They have forgotten you dear,
their thoughts are scared to linger around graves.
It is only me that calls out your name.

“Wrong Way” – Nayana Nair

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They forgot to teach me
the most basic thing-
to know which side I should take
to keep a check on papers, to see sense
when someone tells me what is politically right
and to agree when they tell me that identity is everything
not only mine, but of all those who live on same piece of land as me.
They forgot to tell me to fight and argue
in the name of and for the sake of people
who didn’t care about the fight,
who were fine living the way they did.
I ended up believing
that I could just exist without belonging to any shore
and maybe make my own
and pray that no one joins me
and turn my life into something to live by.

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How could they have overlooked this ,
didn’t they foresee how I would sit awkwardly
midst strangers and have nothing to say
about how the world was run.
Would they consider me silly,
would they think that I am shallow
if I was thinking about the fictional character from a story
and his conflicts?
Would they judge me if the story in question was not about
wars, rivalry or mid-life crisis
but one of romantic ones with cheesy lines
that everyone seems to detest?
They should have told me to memorize lines from papers
and opinion columns
and pass it as my own,
when I was not interested to form opinions
on topics that seemed to be of grave importance to others.
I should know better than to write poems on love and sadness
when people are dying around me.
But I don’t.

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I think I may have been brought up the wrong way
and there is nothing I can do about it now.
But I am not even sure whether
I want to fix the things
that I asked to feel ashamed of.

“So many things” – Nayana Nair

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The jar of broken smiles
sits on my table,
along with the books and records
of my fading writing.
There are so many things
that wither at my touch.
There are so many things
that cannot be brought back to life.
Their graves lie here dreaming to be resurrected.
So many seconds laid waste in my worry
for the future that never will be.

“Must be Lived” – Nayana Nair

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By the grave of your every love,
I have cried for nights.
For the love they took to their graves
and the life you have lost.
This life that demands me to suffer without hope.
This ocean that I never thought my feet would touch.
The night seem so lonely,
not having someone to
look for me
when I have lost my way
inside the wreck of your life.
Trying to heal the wounds that
you never gave me the right to touch.
The gravestone cries with me.
Like this gravestone,
I mark the life
of the love you lost.

There are certain deaths
that must be lived.

“Must Run” – Nayana Nair

running-away

I knew in that moment
that I must run out into the darkness
and find a way
that even the streetlights avoid.
Find a place with no roads
where flowers of new season
will hide my unsure steps.
I knew I had to run away
Or I will never be the same.
So that I don’t loose everything
I (almost) have.
I must run back to that house in wilderness
that I left behind,
to the life I left behind.
So that there are no more graves
of my loved ones
with my name as the murderer engraved.