“Because anyway I had already lost myself in more ways than I had ever imagined” – Nayana Nair

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My tiny life holding its tiny fist
stood at the gates of a thatched school.
The broken lies and lesson flew out of windows
with their sharp painful wings.
And though my heart despised such birds,
hated the thought of growing
in the presence of their mocking chirps,
I still walked. I walked
because the winds were strong,
and my eyes were pricked with the image
of the ones with warm leaving in hurry,
because i too wanted
to be at a place where “i need to be”
even if it was filled with cruel noise,
even if my skin was shrinking in fear,
and maybe precisely because I was going to lose myself
some part of me wanted to know who would care.
I walked towards walls, windows, and wells closed (for now).
I looked in and saw faces and their lips
that sculpted words without breaking.
I looked at the empty place waiting for me.
I could already see – my bending spine and twisted tongue.
I could feel my heart already learning not to care anymore.

“the door opens, and i let in whatever comes in, whatever comes back” – Nayana Nair

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a rose sits at the center of the table.

the surface of wood is sinking,
going under, losing the feeling of its own legs.

everything that i pick up from the world
(the alien objects with the scent of decaying lemon)

their destination is this – this piece of furniture.
everything in this one room life can trace its origin back,

back to a person who is not me. i have been gifted life
and the tools to live. i have been gifted the recipes-

the best way to mix, bake, boil, and burn. every surface of rest
speaks and has a face, their face. their face frowns

at the taste of food i make and my inability to eat. the three meals i cook
never reach my stomach. i can only hope for sleep after these

pointless rituals of remembrance. hunger
is the last thing on my mind. on the mornings when i wake up

with eyes open for a change, i see the clutter for what it is. i see
the shrine and offerings and gods of past. i feel i am not really praying

but begging them to come back. “how to revive a god, how to be looked at again”
these are the thoughts that flood in me

every time an offering is rejected, every time the room remains dead.
the door opens only for me, only by me. a rose again breathes its last

in my hand. there is life i realize. there is life everywhere. but also
there is the end to it. both cannot be had at will.

the wait for both is never without pain.

“Black Pond” – Nayana Nair

As I climb,
my steps remembered the shoes I once had
the ones that didn’t hurt so much
and how hands of mine that hacked through them
just to become my own person,
some sort of grown-up.
I climbed over the yellow soft dress
and the light that it caught
just to get this, this body that looks held together
but is not
(this body knows only how to fall apart),
just to get few more shadows that ruin my beautiful wrist
with their persistent passion.
They claw through me, to see how I am made,
how I look and speak once I break.
A stranger once left me at the bottom of a black pond
and called it love just so that I won’t cry
and in return I called him my love
just for few breaths, just for my life.
I climbed over the right to mean the word “love” thereafter
and the dream of knowing a heart other than mine.
I breathe as if I have sinned
yet I walk like I am happiness and determination in flesh.
I cling to all the bitter bits of this world
as if they would ultimately save me.
I climb over, get over, and forget
so easily, so bitterly
that each feeling of mine is just a shade
of resentment.

“The wind is picking up” – Nayana Nair

The wind is picking up.
The white sand unlike water
sinks everything too slowly.
And so the shade less trees of eucalyptus
become shadows that I learn to love.
They become compass that knows no direction,
but just piece this world to hold,
the silent assurance
that I am not yet lost, though my eyes can’t tell.

***

The wind is picking up.
In the middle of this small storm,
my careful hands writing the date on black board
suddenly realize the need to be held.
And so I fold and create a crease
on another part of my face-
the part that shows my heart too easily.
Someone yells out my name
and unknowingly they moor me to another violence,
another need that I don’t want to carry in me.

“Growing Up” – Nayana Nair

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Growing up
we become closer to the person we are not.
How shallow the facade of maturity is.
How fragile the moments when we feel a human,
how quickly they are lost.
How we grapple at the loose ends of what’s left behind.
How we ask ourselves questions
and write about person in the mirror.
How everything we want
is already in past
and everything in future
is just a compromise.

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