“he, whose hands only know how to build. he, who only remembers grace.” – Nayana Nair

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there is a garden
wilting and blooming
in the most lovely ways.

your hands water them,
bring them up
in the softest light.

in the dying wind
you teach them love
and the geography of pain,

the correct way to place
names on lost tongues
and people in failing heart.

the world is ending
in the background
but you never take notice.

how lovely you look
as you worship this life
that has only broken you.

“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.

“I nod with a smile knowing what it means” – Nayana Nair

.

The sea in the cold basement
rises and falls and collapse around his moon eyes.
Last year, he was a deer forever running into shining lights.
Only yesterday, he was melting the roads he walked on.
Today his hands are cold and yet steady.
He speaks of himself, of me, of this world
in a voice of wind and thunder and love.
And after being other thousand things
I also have become today this light
that can find its origin to him.
The white perfect sails
of all that was and all that could have been
are drowning on every horizon.
“But nothing is ever lost.” he says,
“Everything comes back. Everything continues
to illuminate some life, somewhere.”

“Other people” – Nayana Nair

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I have to always stop myself
because my mind is always running simulations
of things the way they aren’t and will never be.
Yesterday, as I fixed myself a “meal for the raving hungerless”,
you came to my mind. It was your turn now.
You were dropped into a pool of color.
A color that you never had in yourself.
In this new dark room
you were now a person
who might open a fridge late at night,
see its light and think of me.
And stands there awashed in the cold light
till his head is filled
with a new noise and many old feelings.
Till his hands are forced to shut the door
only to find himself
in the comfort of a warm hell.
“warm hell”…as always
the grandness of my being and my absence sound hollow.
Nothing like this could be really so important.
Nothing of mine could cause such lovelorn ache.
I am running around by myself, in myself
wearing masks having these feelings,
having wants that make no sense.
I always wonder about other people in this world.
How the fabric of such thoughts, such hopeless feelings
never seem to suit their skin,
even though I know everyone suffers the same.
I wonder if my reality
is equally incomprehensible, unimaginable to others.

“nothing more, nothing else.” – Nayana Nair

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the last time i was young,
i was as young as the numbers i colored
on his last birthday card.
i remember the burning of birds
that followed our song of hope.

since then nothing was the same.
“the innocent” and “the sweet”
were the monsters that we killed
in the forests that grew in our house.
we killed a lot. we killed plenty.

hours swelled into years into decades
at every tear i tried to hide.
everything i tried to hide
grew as me, grew into me.

he grew into half a monster of kindness.
he devolved into an angel wielding my fear with smile.
it was the truest of love, without any doubt.
it was the only love of the world. the only one i would ever have.
knowing that helped. it helped me wish for nothing more, nothing else.

i grew my claws into the gentlest shapes.
i grew every contradiction in subtle ways.
i grew them nonetheless. that is how i hid.
in the light of his skin, my eyes learnt to love darkness
and yet when the day came, he asked me
to become someone from his memory,
someone untouched from the poison of our world.

he would pester me like a child
to show once again the trick of undoing,
to show the skin i hid from his fear,
to show the heart that he cannot accept.

“gentle things always begged for my fury”
he had said that once.
i remember the threat that lurked under his voice,
in that moment. in that moment,
i remember curling into myself in time,
before he learnt i was all that he couldn’t stand.
i remember choosing him foolishly.
i remember the violence of being chosen.

“what has changed”
i ask in my newest disinterested voice
and he smiled as if he was really not here.
his eyes looked at me as if i was already long gone,
as if he knew my every truth.
he reached out his hand and instead of new blood
i felt his new breaking.

“for a minute i am tempted to believe in this world”
he said in the voice we used to sing all our songs in.
and because i knew better. because i knew fear.
because i couldn’t lose my hidden flesh of hope
to entertain his momentary half-hearted wish to reform
i replied “there is nothing to believe.
there is only blood and flesh and lifeless spoils of war in me.
do you want to be free of me now?
why are asking for things i can never be, never give?”

i feigned hurt and looked at him
till he had to look away and laugh.
his laugh was filled, was welling
with something unfamiliar.
he looked in every direction but mine
as if letting me breathe in the relief of not being found
and the breathe out the disappointment of losing something unreachable again.
but i didn’t dare to breathe.

“The best way to disappear” – Nayana Nair

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My emptiness is finally put to use.
The fishes swim in me –
the luminous disfigured creatures of depth
and the beautiful dying ones of light,
fill me up one by one.

I teach them songs of sorrow.
I hold them in my endless embrace
singing them back to life
and in return they let me feel like someone
who can protect, love, and shield.
They let me feel things no human ever could.

Even though I hate to be seen
I smile as my body is put on display.
My skin, the strongest glass.
My skin, the weakest beams.
The shallowest of oceans I become.

Humans hold hands, hold themselves
as they stand before me.
They find possibilities, mysteries, awe
in all that I hold inside,
in all that isn’t me.

“on the questionable ways to feel alive” – Nayana Nair

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another bird breaks into light
and the someone applauds.
a fire is born in the clouds.
a wind filled with cries
flows in through windows of happy castles.
everything painful is now essential.

i sign my writing with assurances
that it is not too much, this much i can handle,
this much i can live.
i stand tall, i persist in light
with the heartiest smiles
all the time planning on the next crack
that i dream to give birth to,
the next tear that i will paint on myself…
all the while knowing there is something wrong.

something is wrong
with the way i live and the way i feel,
with the things that i see and want.
but has knowing ever helped.
knowing just makes me more reckless.
knowing makes me want to fly again
even though i know
i will be shot down by my own arrows.

“truth as truth” – Nayana Nair

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even if i loved
it was all in vain
and if i couldn’t be loved
what good was i anyway

i utter such atrocities
hoping no one takes me seriously
yet hoping someone would cry.
i can’t tell from here
if i have broken anyone yet.
there is only blindness where i stand.
there is only light where i am allowed to be.
the lights stay on me.
the shadow of curtains comes down
on the momentary truth that hangs at my lips.

i wake up
and read about the dream i sold
looking for the cracks i made
but all i got was “pain looks good on her“.
i wonder if i am really that beyond hope.
my blood shines and my tears have wings.
my brokenness isn’t broken enough.
even in my honest moments
i only seem make pain more beautiful.
to be cared for, to be tended to
could it ever happen to me, should i even try.
to speak truth as truth
i wonder how that feels like.

“till you return” – Nayana Nair

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the door shifts
and the lights evaporate
and the steps
the steps that echo
the steps that almost dance
they stop near me
the familiar cold kind hand falls on me cheeks
and now i let myself sink in my sleep
only now can i rest in peace