“Hope and Wait” – Nayana Nair

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I looked at you for a long time
and for a long time you pretended to sleep.

For a long time
you closed your eyes,
even when tears spilled,
even when laughter almost made out.

I placed my hand in yours and waited.

I hoped even when you pretended to be stone,
pretended to be wax, pretended to be mine,
pretended to want me gone.

I hoped, I waited to held in your arms.

I hope.
I wait.
I pretend to do all this with ease.

I pretend to be a shelter
as I hunger melts my stomach,
as words melt my mouth.
I do not know what you pretend to be.
Not yet.

I wonder
if I let my eyes close,
if I chose my weakness,
if I hide,
will you take my place, place your hands in mine
and pretend to wait?

I won’t mind such lies and such pretense.

*I wonder if our lives could change
if we didn’t feel burdened
by truth and lies all the same.

"let me wake up" – Nayana Nair

someone whispered
you are special
and i knew that this is sleep
(the pleasantly confusing side),
that this is a memory of something
that will never happen again (should i be sad?).
paper dolls hurried me down the aisle
of a supermarket, opening up packets and packets
of laughter that I had not yet paid for
(should i be worried?)
They made me stand at the counter,
chirping “it’s time”, “it’s time”
“it’s time”
and someone who tried hard to look like a human,
who had tried to scratch away
the face of demon drawn by my hands,
stood with a trolley filled with sad colors,
handed me his card
with my name written on his scratched out one
and told me
“now you fall”.
and all i could say was “i hate you”
“i hate you – not in used-to-love-you way”
“i hate you – the way i hate having a broken heart”
“let me wake up”

“Counting the Pieces Left” – Nayana Nair

shadows of evening
are still in my room
the morning rays,
the flickering light bulb,
your laughter,
they don’t do much.

cause this life
of mirrored sunshines and smiles
makes me feel nothing.
there is something wrong with my heart
which you might have known all along.

i toss another piece of me
into the ocean.
it is one other piece of me
that you will never see, will never have again.
you hold my hand and tell me
what i have thrown away
was too difficult to find in this world,
that it was your most favorite thing about me.

i want to cry and apologize to you
but i sit there feeling relieved
now that I have one less thing to lose.
there is something wrong with me
to not want your kindness and your love.
it is not your fault dear.

“Unconsumed” – Nayana Nair

I hear sweet laughter
from far away (from the floor above).
Leftover light from that bright world falls on me.
But it is not mine.
and it seems I am not allowed
to love anything that is not mine.

It seems no one can be mine
until I constantly try to please them,
chain them to me, make them dependent on me,
do their chores, worship them,
read their minds and say only what they want to hear,
be only what they want me to be.
Is this how I make this person mine?
or should I wait for someone else
to put me on a pedestal for once?

I don’t think that would be love though.
But what do I know?
I have tried doing things right every time
and look where it has got me-
passed out on floor,
yearning and envying another’s happiness.

“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.

“Laughing it off” – Nayana Nair

I jokingly said that I would hate it
to be someone else-
someone who would have to suffer me.
But before my face realizes what my heart meant,
where it becomes apparent in my eyes
that I am nowhere near recovery,
before I panic at being taken seriously,
someone cuts me off
with laughter,
with agreement,
with proofs supporting my observation,
with a list of my faults I may have missed,
with an funny anecdote about
about the time I was too broken to think straight.

-x-

I wish I had not broken into laughter when I put myself down.
I wish ‘laughing it away’ was a trick that worked in my life.
I was never mistaken that ‘tricks’
changes reality, builds back and heals
all that is in pieces and all that is in pain.
It’s just a way to turn blind to what I cannot change.
But walking blind is worse than I had thought.
I keep colliding with harmless words, bruise myself,
and recoil back in the fear of what I may find
if I took a step forward.

“Missing and wanting what lies forgotten” – Nayana Nair

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For long I have lived
avoiding a lot in life.
The sting of disappointment.
The pointless chatter that becomes
noise, laughter,
a habit. A lovely company.
The colors that didn’t suit me,
colors that I loved just the same.

But now I miss the life in my heart
and the pain that made skies and stars more bright,
that made earth more warm, and love more necessary.

Now I want to dream of happiness again.

“Your Place” – Nayana Nair

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I am not walking over
your footprints.
I am walking into the space you used
to occupy in this world.
I am walking into your absence.
I am taking your place.
I am taking your voice.
I am taking in the laughter
that escaped your lips
and never found their way back.
I am walking towards the fate
that took you from me, from this world.
But I do not seem to reach the place
where you are.
I have become one with the doorbell that never rings,
with the appointments on calendar
you will never be able to keep.
I can’t curse you for leaving me.
Some journeys are made without choice
and some distances are granted for our own peace.
The place you made for me in this life
is the only thing that feels right without you.
Only thing I can do
is to stop waiting,
and live your life
in your place.

“All the tones”- Nayana Nair

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If I memorized
all the tones that drifted in from
a world of happiness
we are no longer inhabitants of,
the tones that drip ever so slowly
filling our heart with love
and filling our life with pain,
the tone that ripples through
every word I weigh on my tongue.
all the tones
that resonates in me as the wind passes
through the places in my heart
where your laughter once lived,
all the tones
that separate bird cry and bird song.
I think I would find the song we lost,
the song we sought
that we could never hear
in the noise of our shouts.
And though our love is dead
I would like this song
to have a home to rest.
As for our love,
what is lost is probably
lost for best.

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“A sleep so light” – Nayana Nair

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There is a sleep so light
that it rests upon my brow
ever so careful no to slip into my eyes
and I hear its laughter
on my thoughts that have no meaning
or reason
And when it notices
my tears
it takes pity on me
and holds my eyelids down
with the weight of its love
That’s how morning comes
and finds me,
clinging to the sleep,
clinging to the life,
that will soon leave me.