You stand beside the fire” – Nayana Nair

In the rubble with nerves hiding sparks,
in the nest of sleeping explosives,
again it is you.
Again you are here to prove something
by doing something unasked for.

You build a place for warm tea,
for all our shivering ghosts to haunt.
You place the chairs that are not chairs
but buckets that cannot hold anything now.
There are chairs that are lying around just fine
but you want don’t them.
You don’t want the old purposes eating away
the beauty of all that is left behind.

You console the ones holding onto what is no longer there
but you don’t want the ones who want way back to what it was.
You ask us questions with your bleeding lips
you want us to answer with something real,
not just words.
“You are cruel”,
you laugh when we say that.
You make us leave everything we are
just so that we can finally sit on empty buckets
thinking about the hands we cannot hold,
thinking about hands that are no longer hands.

“The city is no longer burning”, you tell us
as you place our empty glasses in front of our empty eyes
and tell us it is fine if we don’t believe it now.
“Sleep. Dream and stay for a while with the molten and bombed,
the lost and the dead that still have your heart.
Take your time.”

As we lay awake in our heart-wrenching grief,
as we lose ourselves to your favorite world of sleep,
you stand beside the fire
that keeps us alive.
You stand beside the fire
that is not actually fire
but your heart
that burns like sun.

We wanted to tell you, “You are kind.
You are too beautiful for this world.
Have our heart and burn it instead.”
But we couldn’t .
We knew these things were easy only in words,
that these were things we couldn’t do, yet.
That we have not smiled and laughed with bleeding lips,
helping while being hated.
That we were too selfish to be you.

“Small Impossible Dream” – Nayana Nair

Her floor had always been the color of the season
I remember this, only when I step into the mess of her life.
The spring issues lay scattered like the flowers
The pink, red, yellows, and greens,
women who only know youth,
women who only grow younger
the kind of woman she wanted to be
(what a small impossible dream)
and she almost is.
And now that she can never change
would she be happy?
When/if she comes across her own lifeless eyes in the missing posters
would she be glad to be one of the “sad popular”?
I shatter the home of her missing goldfish
in my haste efforts to pick them up
and put them out of sight- the bundles of glossy paper
that my eyes can’t handle.
I try to put them away,
wanting to throw them away
now that she wouldn’t mind, now that she won’t yell at me
or anyone for taking away too much of her.
I want to try it.
i want to try, so she has no option but to stop me.
“let’s leave her in peace” tells me my moral compass and my grief.
“i don’t want to show her the kind of respect that only dead deserve”
shouts back my anger and my love.
I drop the heaviest bag in this world on her rain soaked bed.
Her last dress, her last chocolate wrapper, her last bus ticket,
her last mistake, her last breath
everything spilling out,
everything ruining the spring that I dreamed for her along with her.

“Incomplete Sentences” – Nayana Nair

Sit beside me
while I sleep.
Put your hand into my soul.

I do not not where it is.
Maybe you would have to find it first
before we can start with anything.

But finding this soul
I think
would be a start in itself.

In my dreams, become the air
that insists on not letting me fall
when I try to jump to my …

You know what I want to say,
right?
Don’t let me complete such sentences.

Help me find
what I have lost
to my grief.

Maybe in what I have lost
lies my will to live,
lies my hope to love you better.

“Soft Soil” – Nayana Nair

you are now
just a butterfly
in the unruly garden of my life.

you were once the laughter in our home.
your hands were once as warm as mine.
you were so many things,
the one who knew how to make everyone smile,
the one who could soothe my heart
with a kind understanding glance,
the one who never cried
(now I guess you must have cried,
knowing how you left us here like this).

they told me
you were too weak to live.
i gulped down their answer
even when i knew they were lying.
i was afraid of knowing the real reasons,
i was afraid of knowing what I had overlooked.

the soil was so soft in my hand,
the day they buried you.
i cried through my meals for days.
no one consoled me.
no one told me things will get better.
no one told me to grow up.
and something told me
i would never grow up.

“We are stronger than we think” – Nayana Nair

“We are stronger than we think.”
I always avoid saying such nonsense.
I have always hated words
that have no meaning ,
no real sympathy,
words that almost sound like:
“shut up! stop crying! we have had enough.
don’t make the atmosphere so depressing.
we can’t help it.
you can’t either.
why bring up such topics.”
I never wanted to sound like that to anyone.
I don’t want to be one of those who
consider consoling someone
equal to convincing them
that what they considered precious,
what they considered life shattering
was nothing,
that what the grieving cares for is nothing.

But then, what are the right words?

“We are stronger than we think.”
To spew such nonsense.
Even when I said that to her,
I wondered why I said that.
Have I been surprised
by my strength ever in my life?
Probably not.

But I remember feeling
that my happiest days have walked past me,
when I realized the futility of life, of my life,
my insignificance.
And how I somehow made it to the days
where I found something to look forward to,
where I found myself between people whom I could love.
The fact
that I could wait for such days
in spite of the misery that was once unbearable
must mean something.
To wait for something that may never arrive
must require some kind of strength.
To loose every paradise we stumble on,
to bleed every time it is lost
and to still believe in the concept of paradise
must require something more
than the strength we think we have.

“Come to me” – Nayana Nair

When you see me walk towards my grief,
towards my past,
with my head sinking down,
with my hands full of my own pieces,
stop me dear.
Come to me.
Run to me.
Call out to me
even when you think I cannot hear.
Hold me back
even when you think I cannot be stopped.
Promise me
that you will try.

“Counting Losses” – Nayana Nair

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I can only go as far as my muscle memory takes me.
Since my mind is not here
and I can’t leave this body
that I have never been able to accept as mine.
There is a road that lies in front of me
and there is nothing for me to do
but to walk.
You bring me back to present
and ask me where I have been.
There is a place that I left lifetimes ago,
where I am searching for the reason of my grief.
There is a sun that rises only in the heart of the lost,
there is a mist I live in that you cannot see.
I can stand at any edge and be sure I won’t fall.
I can reach out for any happiness that I am sure I can’t have
and nothing will hurt me more than that.
There are losses that I am counting,
there are bruises I must count as gain only because of love.
Every hope I find
becomes a reminder of something I have already lost.
Can you teach me-
how to go about this life,
how to get rid of this part of me
that can only love the past?

“Leave my heart behind” – Nayana Nair

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I would welcome you into these
arms to cry out your grief,
however small.
If only I could leave my bitter heart behind
that only wants to be consoled
and never wants to care for anyone else.
That only looks at the world
to look for a face
who would take the blame for what it suffered.

“Faithful” – Nayana Nair

original

The pictures
you posed for,
stayed faithful to you,
in keeping your grief
bottled up,
only to be spinkled in your art,
that glamorized the pain,
which was in fact hard to bear
and harder to name.

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-In fond memory of  Kim Jong-Hyun

(your absence will be deeply felt, may our love and care follow you to whichever world your soul is in)

“Must feel the same” – Nayana Nair

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All sorrows don’t have the same weight.
And sometime its weight
is not related to the reason of the sorrow,
but on the person who endures it.
And there is always something worse
that could happen in everyone’s life.
Our sufferings may not be equal.
Our tears may not be of same hue.
But
a heart that hurts
must feel the same.
A mind that’s lost,
the whispers of blame
must feel the same.

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When you don’t belong to earth
and the sky doesn’t want you
and you know not where to go.
Come to me.
I will hear you.
I will hear all you worries
that seem too childish to be spoken out.
I will hear the sound
of your deep breaths in the music of your sobs.
I will let you live your grief.
Grief to have lost.
Grief to have found .
Grief to simply exist.
Whatever it may be
and you don’t have to explain why it hurts.

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