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“Keeping Distance” – Nayana Nair

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All my sketches of you
are living in a hopeless state of
growing hunger, growing questions.
I hear them talking to each other,
asking your whereabouts.
I have grown to become
a mother of many children
abandoned by her man.
Children who are forced to share a life with me
while struggling to keep a distance from my breaking heart.
Asking each other questions that they want to ask me.
I wish they would just ask me
“where is he?” “did he forget his way to us?”
“did he forget you? us?”

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A saner me could have told them
“he probably forgot the person he was
people tend to do that life
but he cannot forget himself without erasing us
maybe we were no better that the life
that he had forgotten before us
or maybe it became worse with us
whatever he was suffering from.”

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But the saner me
is also fading into the sea of past.
I fear for these innocent memories
that do not get to choose,
that do not have any say,
staring in silence at me
hoping I continue to love them
knowing that I probably won’t.

“Sooner or Later” – Nayana Nair

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My weakness must have been ugly to look at,
but the only thing I knew I could do
was to take this pain
and name it after you.
I hoped sooner or later
I would grow strong enough.
But in my calculation of sooner or later,
in my desperation and greed
to save you and myself,
my understanding of you,
and of what this world does to you
fell short.
My love was too huge to be carried
in a skin as weak as mine.
This is not the love
that I meant to give you.
This is not the life
you’re meant to live.

“Steal” – Nayana Nair

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The tree I grew on,
the frozen giant I wrapped myself around
has lost its strength, its life
to keep someone like me alive.
Can I say it has given up its life for me
when I am the one that stuck to it first,
when I am the one that steals what I cannot create.
Do I have to take the burden, the responsibility
for trying to fill in these needs
that were put in me
without giving me means to fulfill them?
Do I need to have these feelings of guilt?
Do I need to feel sad
for just wanting to live?
The sun rises on my worries once again,
and life of one more day
has been given to what I must strangle.
Does it have to be like this?
It would have been easier
if I was the one who was wronged
or if I was ignorant of what I cause.

“Version” – Nayana Nair

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Sometimes the hatred, the bias that
people around him smoked
sticks to his clothes, his skin, his tongue
when I come near him.
He can wash it from himself with a sleep.
He can leave it at the door, when he steps in.
But I can’t wash it out of my mind.

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In my mind
I mix up the person he is and the person he has to be.
But I realise that I do not know the person he is,
I only know the person he has to be for me,
I only resent the person he has to be for others.

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The person he is, looks at me from his corner of eyes
and this stranger looks at me
not across oceans, not across roads of fate,
but across the versions of us filling up the space between us,
the versions we can never throw away.

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This stranger looks at me and gives me the smile
that he has to wear for me.
For me to realise the love I have for the the days
I share with this person who spends his days with me,
loses his ways with me and grows old with me.
I smile back becoming the person I have to be for him,
becoming the version I love the most.

“Growing List” – Nayana Nair

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All these dreams that remains a dream,
their glimmer and shine
now feel like pinpricks in my eyes,
as the list of “not-achieved” and “compromises”
grows long.

“Asking for More” – Nayana Nair

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The lost all gather
at the same door as I.
They shout, yell and cry.
Praise and tell lies.
To be taken in.
To be cared for.
To be chosen.
To be looked at, even once.

Do they also feel smaller
for standing here and waiting,
for asking things whose void eats you up.
This void
that has a fondness, an appetite
for the ones who can’t unlearn caring.
Which becomes bigger
feasting on the silent phone,
on unifinished conversations,
on the hollow rumours, on the dirt on your name,
smeared by people
who know better
but continue to do worse.

The void for things,
that even when attained,
outgrows the want that creates it.
Is there anyone
who has got what he asked
and stopped asking for more.
Who has found himself
by asking and pleading for acceptance,
by being nice and patient,
by cutting themselves up
to fit the template
of someone else’s ever growing void.

“Approaching Night” – Nayana Nair

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The light that drips from your skin
feels like sunlight frozen.
As you float among the spirits
of far away desolate planets,
who have found home in you,
who like me have found you too full of life.
You walk to me,
hold me close and bury your fire
in my heart. The mountain and the sea
that belong to you,
have erased the life
that I’ve lived before.

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On the path lined with trees-
their shade and your joys
becoming just memories with approaching night.
You walk to me,
you hold me close and bury your face
your regrets, your tears in my skin
and give me a moment of the future I can never have.
And soon I see you dissolve in the sea foam,
in the waters where we were born.
I find my hands filled with your share of happiness
and sky filled with flowers that once grew in your hands.

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