“Dissociate” – Nayana Nair

my other head
bleeds and falls off
as does my bloody knife

i can no longer call myself a victim of life
now that my sin is set in stone

few more hours for the sun to rise
few more hours i must bear the company of my face
in few more hours the world will love me
now that i look like them and kill like them
they will surely love me
for having one less brain and one less mouth

my eyes look back at me
not accusingly but with pity
of what have i done to myself
but i dare not cry
and act as if i am the one being wronged
my tears- i’ll be burying them under the red petunias
that you loved

my hearts beats furiously
as if running towards something, perhaps an end
end of me? end of her?
it feels wrong saying “her”, “you”
as if a knife is all it takes to set things conveniently wrong

i close the door and leave my open mouth
and questioning eyes on the kitchen table
i break a nail and break my heart
as i dig two graves for myself

“Sense of Urgency” – Nayana Nair

Today I realized
what to call all that I have been reading for so long.
A person I didn’t mean to overhear called it ‘a sense of urgency’-
the desire to save this world as soon as possible.

It seems the enemies are too many.
I saw many names in the list of these enemies
that I silently agreed with-
pollution, dictatorship, bullying,
monetization of education, competing in a rigged world,
oppression of lives and loves of minority, hate crimes,…

I scoffed at some:
the collapse of society in the hands of socially withdrawn,
collapse of economy in the hands of those who want and do less,
the unfeeling and unapologetic generation that seems to love depression,
women whose learning and thinking too much only breaks families,…

“this is the cause worth dying for”-
I suddenly became afraid of that feeling.

As I read all the absurd causes I couldn’t agree with.
As I read and became exasperated at the words of those
who were convinced that they knew better
even as they killed and killed and killed
and got addicted to seeing blood dissolving in oceans.
I realized
how dangerous this feeling could be.

“this is what to means to change the world.
to change the world
is to walk over everything I don’t want to see”
My sense of urgency hated me for thinking this.
It recited every quote about silence of good men.
But all I could now see was the line that I must not cross,
the words I must not say, the knife that I must never hold-
no matter the cause.

“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.

“As Little as Possible” – Nayana Nair

the broken have found love again.

again they will forget all
that they promised they would never forget.

they talk of hobbies, talk of news,
talk of things that are easy to agree upon.
they talk about breaking down walls at lunch
and stay awake at night
getting rid of every part of themselves
that could spoil this love.

they tell themselves that this time
they will want less, expect lesser,
and love as little as possible
they try to love with their masks on
hoping that it would be easier,
but knowing all the while that it won’t be.

“Greater Good” – Nayana Nair

The trees are alive today.
They ask me to sing them to sleep for the last time.
I sing for hours
but they refuse to close their eyes.

They ask me how I have been,
not waiting for my answer,
in one breath they ask
about the words they don’t understand,
ask me about the days I do not remember anything about
(there are so many days I have no memory of
while I can’t forget the days I really want to forget),
about the rain that has left us long ago.

Their love for this world that they do not understand-
makes me jealous,
makes me wonder,
if I could love also this world as much as I want to
if I knew a little less,
if I gave up this human heart
that knows nothing but to steal and plead,
to take away and bleed.
But if I knew how to give up myself
for my greater good,
I would have done so long ago.

I can only stay selfish,
act better than what I am,
sing songs to the trees
that will soon be killed for my sake.

“Temperature of this world” – Nayana Nair

all the folded boats
spill out of my empty books.

the trees are on fire again.
my mind is on a another wild chase.

my hands light some more branches.
“the world is too cold for me”,
is all that i can say.

today, i am less sad than yesterday,
which makes everything that much more difficult.

today my sorrows have become facts.
my childhood reduced to folded boats in a trash can.

is there any other way to live than this?

“Wilted dreams of our heart” – Nayana Nair

we keep walking through these roads
lined with trees of wilted dreams,
laden with fruits
of all the happiness that we do not want.

our hearts are narrow cells
capable of far less than we think of,
but always wanting more than what it can hold.
our greed is not a monster,
but a pitiful child who has lost too much,
who refuses to give up anything anymore.

we wait for this child
to stop wanting,
to stop crying,
to stop hiding,
to stop hoping.
we wait for this road to end.
we wait to be abandoned by this child
whom we have let down too many times.

“I am sad, bitter, and in love” – Nayana Nair

I look at you and I see myself.
I see my weakness, that is you.
I see my failure, that is you.
But if I put it like this
it may seem that you are
just another darkness in my life,
but you are not.
There is a reason that even when my mouth recites
sad stories and bitter words about you
my eyes, my heart only looks for you.
There is a kindness in you
a love in you, for me,
that surfaces, even when you try to hide it.

In your imperfections
I see the imperfections of my own love,
how I cannot love all of you
even when I want to.
I wish sometimes
I was not this person that I am.
Sometimes I wish you were a little less lovely,
a little less lovable.
Maybe then it would have been easier,
been okay,
to walk over this love
that I cannot let go of now.

“Have a Good Day” – Nayana Nair

I was sat down and told repeatedly everyday
that though the world belongs to all of us,
sometimes it is better
to step back,
to only take up the space we need.
I misunderstood it to be a lesson in humility,
wanting less, and sacrifice,
but I realize now that it was not so.
I was told to stop before I anger someone,
before someone got jealous,
or before they saw the weakness of my gender.

As I stand on the balcony at midnight
and hear drunk shady men shouting, cursing, and stumbling,
as they make their way to their broken homes,
I remind myself
this is what I am supposed to fled,
a person who is allowed to loose their mind,
a person who will always have excuse to hurt.
This what everyone wanted me to become,
someone who is proficient at spotting dangers,
who can conjure up the worst possible scenarios
when they hear another’s footsteps on deserted streets,
and see the worst possible demons in the face of men.

These days I often hear people say
that the new meaning of a powerful woman is
the one who walks into misfortune willingly,
before she is stalked and defeated by it.
Is this the only alternative to what I am living?

I wish that when I walked past a stranger on streets
I could smile and wish them a good day,
without having to fear being misunderstood,
without the echoes of ‘she asked for it’ in my mind.

“Reflections in Failure” – Nayana Nair

I realized in my failures
that I was not nearly as good as I thought I was
and whatever I am was not worth that much
at least not in my own eyes.

And nothing I did could change anything
unless I could see the significance
of what I am and what I do.

I worked hard.
I lost sleep.
But my efforts to become worthy of my dream
turned out to be too less.
I turned out to be too less.

But somehow I was relieved to see
that even when I was empty-handed
I knew how to find my way to the beginnings
and start again.
So I couldn’t pity myself in that moment
but feel almost an admiration for this person
who didn’t know how to give up.