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“Eavesdrop” – Nayana Nair

From my empty room,
from the edge of my personal cliff,
I looked into the windows of strangers,
looked over their shoulder at texts they write,
looked at the pages where their bookmark rests,
silently waited at the edge of my chair
trying to overhear responses to the big questions.

And all I have known by prying so hard
is that there is nothing there.
Nothing in the text that could pass for shorthand.
The same book rests on the same table for years,
serving only the role of a carefully thought out accessory.
No question is big enough to be carefully considered.
No relationship is important enough to be held to heart.
That I was foolish to believe otherwise till now.
That I am putting myself on another path to heartbreak
if I do not believe in the night that I see.
I must unlearn the way I have lived
to find a place to belong.

In between the cold beginning and cruel ends
that are the parentheses of our lives,
there is nothing for me to hang on to.
But it helps to know
that there are plenty of empty rooms in this painful smaller eternity,
that I need not kill myself over an emptiness so common.
And it is really difficult to feel alone once I know that.

“You cannot be my everything” – Nayana Nair

You are always there when I look back.

That is enough I guess.

I hope I never learn to want more.

“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.

“to the one who loved everything true” – Nayana Nair

the truth is
i have loved you
more than what my heart could take.

for years
the only moment
i loved myself, felt proud of myself
were the ones where i put my better judgement in the drain,
were the ones where i clinged onto you even as you made me cry,
were the ones where i suffocated and killed my brain with only your thoughts.

so as you put an end to all that we were
and as i learn to hate you with honesty,
somewhere in me, i know that this end
is what i desperately needed.
this was the peace
that i would have never granted myself.
thank you.

“i hope i forget this life” – Nayana Nair

matter, substance, meaning…
as my vocabulary expanded with such words,
i knew,
i had an inkling
that this is how
i would be disillusioned,
with such small words
i would be driven to despair.

i would find there is another face behind every smile,
and that some of those upturned lips are just empty coffins.
a smile so sad, a wordless lie
so easily becomes the most normal thing.

but do i even want to know
who lives behind such elaborate masks?
do i care to know how they breathe?
do i want to know who breathes in me?
or whether anyone really care about me?

i knew that now,
given that i have learnt to ask
all the questions whose answers can’t be verified,
living and trusting was bound to become harder.
now that i knew
that i am not capable of knowing myself,
seeing my reflection
was bound to get painful and confusing.
confusion is such a small word
for what life does to us.
all the small words
that are easily said than meant-
i hope i forget them
before i forget myself.

“Digestible” – Nayana Nair

to be human is to float like a single cell life
devouring pieces of digestible meaning,
splitting and cutting oneself without blood loss
into something more manageable.
to be human is to lose your legs
to the ideas of nation, families, and lovers.
to be a human like me is to look at
herbivores, carnivores, omnivores, scavengers…
and wonder what hunger feels like.
it is to order love at every other restaurant
waiting for the taste of pain to grow on me,
while i mimic strangers stranded on far away tables
and hope what i am learning is not another dead language.

“could-have-beens” – Nayana Nair

Posted on

when saw my skin, i saw only cracks
cracks that would have looked worse
if i could see better.
i wanted to look away
but all i could do was think-
age is creeping up on me
slowly and cruelly
and you are not here.

i think of all the things
i can never have now.
things i meant to do everyday
things i put off, delayed
because you needed time.
all the things i denied myself
because i wanted to wait for you.

but the weight of things i have given up
seems to have increased exponentially
since you learnt to change your mind.

so me and my could-have-beens
we sit at different tables in the same world,
looking at each other with disappointment.
how ridiculous is this
that i am waiting,
even when there is no one to wait for,
even when i know that running away
was the only thing you could be relied upon for.

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