“Unchanging facts” – Nayana Nair

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All the stories and songs and
in this part of land, at this end of life – they are all about
the boat and its wood, about the shine of its old surface,
the sound of water it carries even as it sits on the dry
dying land, burning for hours and hours.
Hours not measured in the cups of water nor in the shadows
that refuse to fall in spite of all the light,
but hours measured by the cries of gull, the number of sails torn,
the diminishing weight of the men,
and the the silent wrath of all the glorious water.
We ‘the ones rooted to the shores’,
we sing from the shade of generous trees
to ‘the ones who only knew the abundance
of salt and wounds and undying dreams’,
trying to understand their alien love.
We sing of them and their hateful dreams,
of the tears they forced us to swallow because
they couldn’t love us if we wanted to be their shackles,
we narrate these unchanging facts every morning,
we dig a new grave for the same person again and again,
with each hole in earth as empty as the other.

“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.

“It was difficult to believe that I could be loved just as I am. It was odd that we had to be told. ” – Nayana Nair

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The frame of winter breaks
the snow drips, flows, and climbs
like a relentless silver creeper,
like a god finally on its way
to end the reign and terror of heaven.
Our eyes stare, amazed at the cold white spiders
running across the face of the sky;
the music and the metal dissolving the distant names,
dissolving the knives we decorated our heart with.
We could all feel an equal summer light
embracing our backs silently.

“Once, my heart…”- Nayana Nair

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They set me down softly.
The cloth made of stars and leaves,
laid to rest on my heart.
My heart, once a gaping hungry mouth,
a volcano ready to freeze
all life, all skin that roam and breathe
within its realm. The tyrant helpless ruler
of the subjects that bleed in their sleep
as they murmur their pleas, reciting memories
it can’t bear to listen to.
My heart,
a café lit with dying songs and cheap menu,
a landscape of wrecks well-hidden.
My heart, a sceptic, now sits in a structure of wood,
with its half-written paper
on “questionable power of blood”
sprawled on its desk,
while it waits for the final burning
wearing that one warm worn-down love,
that somehow still breathes.

“Looking at the walls of time” -Nayana Nair

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We are going to remember
and we are going to survive.
We don’t need to peel our lives from the walls of time,
take back words we always truly meant.
We don’t need to forget the faces
that were the most beautiful to us in this world,
they continue to be beautiful even when they don’t look at us.
We don’t need to hate the people who were once our everything
even if now they are not ours now,
not in the way were used to having them.
Though forgetting is tempting and easier on heart,
we are going to remember them well
and when we survive
their goodness shall thus survive in us.

“Another mistake of the same kind” – Nayana Nair

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how many times
have we walked like this
on roads far away from our homes
even as the only thing we dreamed of
was the warmth we were leaving behind?

the memory of love
fades slowly with the last light.
how many times have we regretted
not looking back?

how often have we chosen silence
over words that can fix everything?

“Often I am ashamed to cite the reasons for my hurt.” – Nayana Nair

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I cried only because
I knew I can be easily loved
if I gave what was asked of me.
And everything asked of me was simple.
I was, after all, made to love like this,
made of love like this.
It was an easy game, that I was designed to win.
And yet tears didn’t cease to dance on my lashes.
All the easy reasonable ways of living with others
were a wound to my ideals.
I couldn’t get over the dealings and the transactions,
the sick rotten give and take.
I couldn’t get over the conditions,
the changing shallow terms of affection.
But in all my loathing
even as I held back things that hungry eyes sought from me,
I couldn’t stop my own hunger from showing.
I also tugged shamelessly at the sleeves of another’s heart
asking for something simple,
a minor sacrifice, a cheap gesture of love,
only to forget it all in the next attack of doubt,
the next demand for more.
I waited for someone’s endless sea of virtues
to change my shabby heart that refused to believe.
My heart meanwhile
counted for, waited desperately,
even prayed
for all the seas to dry up
rather than giving up
the ideals it didn’t even deserve to hold.
This is how I stand guard to the happiness that
I won’t let anyone, not even myself have.

“I feel all this will outlast my fading soul” – Nayana Nair

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A new patchwork of needles
is slowly put in place as my fearful flesh learns
to rely than to hide,
only to know pain
in new ways and measures.
Yet so much of myself
I dismantle and destroy to give you
the luxury of warmth
that I can’t really afford.
With you
every part of me is lit up with pain.
Though it was not the kind of light I craved for
but it is still the light that somehow suits me well.
I probably knew too little of me, too little of love
before I pledged my heart and breath to you.
Just like I am learning everyday
how love is never enough to dull any pain;
I am also made aware
how love is still the best place to lose oneself,
to bury this flesh with kindness.

“The Night Wind” – Nayana Nair

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The light bulb blooms.
The petals of light, the tungsten
burning red and hot- invites, sings, thinks only
of the memory of wings.
The burning, the bodies and their count,
the trivial data, the remains of feeble lives
pile up only to be blown away by the night wind.
Far way, the plastic chairs rustle like grass,
as everyone leaves with their lips
stained and bleeding with illusions.
In the silence of the backyard,
I alone hear the wings drop like rain.
I look at my own charred and mauled self
and ridiculously, think of love, only of love.
I realize something is truly wrong
with this world that I’m caught in.

“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.