“The Right Way” – Nayana Nair

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The monsters brought their shadows
as they climbed into my bed
and I gave them stories
that promised to make them human again.
I had talked them into the idea
of change and love and the broken petal
that became a flower overnight
in the embrace of a care so fierce it
that nothing in the world could stay broken
once they knew its warmth
;
just liked they talked me into
the ideas of strength and hiding and the stones
that teach the skin of blood, bruise and eventually a strength
so stubborn that it can never be separated
from our bodies, our sorrows, and our will to fight
.
But many hours and a sleep and a love later
we still found ourselves staring at the
broken windows of hope,
and the stone of disappointments
melting in the morning light like snow.
Each half of our heart now wouldn’t stop crying
and begging for the other half to change.
Every part of us was now contending with each other
on the monopoly of truth, the right way to love,
and the safe ways to die. Our surety of self was evaporating
faster than ever. We were being broken from inside,
scattered for good, while our skins now knew the same battles
of keep up a form, keeping our reality hidden.
But now we could at least now sit in a room
and look each other in eye and smile,
knowing we could never be separate from each other.
Knowing there is no hell or heaven we would go to alone,
no forgiveness only granted to one.
There was no sin or or grace in this kingdom of cries,
there is no beautiful escape from this knowledge of life.

“And everything is a miracle because you love me” – Nayana Nair

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A summer comes alive,
a branch flowers
at the touch of my hand.
My hands that were just held by you
they find all dead things,
all dark corners of life.
There is so much of life in these hands
that are now desired by you.
There is so much that can now
be brought back to life,
so much that can stop hurting.
There is no way to stop all this warmth
from spilling out of me anyway.
This world, this path of ruins,
this history of us,
existed for this moment maybe
so that we may learn the texture of hope
in each other’s skin,
so that we may see the rebirth of light
in each other’s eyes.

“the open doors don’t mean much now” – Nayana Nair

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the towers
are open to the public now.
the crowd can now crow
and row and climb
to the better views-
a softer light,
a smaller distant world,
the illusions of gods
growing on our own earthly skin.
this radiance
was supposed to mean something else,
something more, something new though.
but these deafening footsteps,
this meaningless chatter,
these houses now growing like shrooms,
the clothes now drying on every step,
the resurgence of life and the blooming bruise,
the grass growing, the herds living
and dying in the shade of the tower-
they only make me cry.
even in their most wretched moments
they still remain things i can’t have.
the singular monument of hope
and its playground of chaos
and me, the only child
who doesn’t belong,
looks up at the promised sky,
feeling a new hollowness creeping.
feeling myself break
for the same old things in new ways.

“Always Spring” – Nayana Nair

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There is mercy in shadows,
there is healing in light,
and in the darkness?
There is always something in darkness
but we never know what.
Only there I can invent, imagine
and pretend.
Pretend
that this is my heart,
these are my people,
these noises that scare me
are of ghosts,
here I can see their teary eyes
Pretend
that the one coming towards me is
a kind monster,
that the bleeding has stopped
that outside is spring,
is a life better and wider than this
Outside is always spring
till I don’t open the windows,
till I don’t look out.
What a sad fragile relief this darkness is.
A never-ending cycle of hope and pain.

“Whatever good remains” – Nayana Nair

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I looked at the beautiful beautiful plate,
the rice lit like pieces of paradise,
the spice, the salt,
a garden, a farm,
a forest fit into morsels.
I wanted to write about food
and realized how it no longer fills me
but what feeds me are the hands that make them.
Carefully they serve the empty cold plate,
fill it with love and color and texture
and sprinkle “i love you” and “hope you are always happy”
and “hope you are always full” without restrain,
always, always in excess.
But I am never full,
and I am often not happy.
I eat this world and their love
always with half my heart heavy
with ugly yearning for things that cannot be.
But whatever good remains of my heart
remains because they love, they care
for me like this,
without reconsideration,
without restrain,
always,
always
in excess.

“Walking off the cold” – Nayana Nair

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The stones are stacked,
a song is sung.
The invisible hands
and wailing throats
are at work again.

The yard grows sand,
grows salt and sun
and water is what it waits for.
Colorless blue is all
that eludes the grand plan.
And the wait for it is a snake –

a snake crawling through
the alleys of heart,
upturning graves and homes,
looking into the eyeless sockets
on walls, waiting for some light
to illuminate something true here.

Wait is the girl who pukes
at the mention of hope,
and walks off the cold
by lighting her own legs.
Her feet that always survive miraculously,
dance on the grassless yards
yearning for blue.

The yard grows feet
grows heart and fun.
The yard is lit with
the light of fried birds –
this is the liveliest moment
that all hands here know.
What else can one do with life?
What else can one do with death?

“framing our dreams in the living room of my life without you” – Nayana Nair

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and hope shall play
on the beaches that you drew.
it will run
along the cold melting lands,
holding your hands,
smiling with lips
that curve like mine,
that opens like yours.
a song shall arrive in the air
a laughter, a tear will arrive in our hearts
again to knock, again to let in life.
we will look at our skin
that breaks in the same design
and we will rejoice.
we smile about something
that was once insufferable.
we will hold each other
laughing about how
nothing can make us
let go, nothing can make us
give up on this.

“By holding you back” – Nayana Nair

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And what do I desire
when I plant my body
in the path of storm,
when I place my hand
on your ailing nerve.

The ideas of gaining,
of becoming, of light –
the unholy invasive light
claiming all my hiding spots,
why do they seem to not matter.

The slow definite end
that I looked forward to,
whose hopes I relied on
to just breathe,
why does it seem hateful
when you are the one
moving towards it.

When my skin knows every surface
your struggling hands have grazed,
when I know sometimes
one cannot just go on,
why do I feel this all is unfair
when you are the one
who yearns to dissolve.

“The step before silence” – Nayana Nair

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The abyss holds a celebration today.
There is a relentless sound
of chatter and song,
of footsteps walking out of sync
heading this way.

This way, this place
where we have always been stuck
a step before the end, a word before silence.
This desolate space,
where we live and breathe
and learn to never rely on lungs or love,
it is a festival here.

The balloons of hope
are learning to fly in this heavier air.
Small innocent hands are sculpting
something better than hell
out of all this fire and light.
So much is possible today.
Anything can be lived.

Today the empty cold sky looks down with envy
at all that should have been unbearable.
Today I look down at myself
and see something lovable in everything
that made my heart crumble once.

“even if you become my story, my only story, as the rest of me dissolves” – Nayana Nair

.

Even if this moment casts me to hell*,
even if this is a seed of hurt
that will soon be my new skin,
as long as your spirit embraces me
there would be only spring,
there would only be morning birds,
and silent roads filled with your sweet footsteps.