“Surface” – Nayana Nair

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I want to write of things I don’t know of.
About the feelings I never had,
the bodies that never surfaced
in the rivers that exist only on the grounds
of treasure-less maps,
the feelings I spoke of but never ever actually felt
as if it happened to me.
My love was like everyone else’s,
so much that I was acutely aware of their borrowed nature.
I want to write of things I don’t know of,
about a love that is truly mine, a feeling that is not plagiarized.
When you casually say “you don’t know anything of love”
I don’t want to feel guilty, like I always do.

“the star you are looking at” – Nayana Nair

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she said
“the star you are looking at, that almost has your heart
is already dead long before
and even if you pray for her
it will reach her too late.
that is the nature of distances
that exists between us and them.
our prayers don’t matter
they will never get to hear it.
we can only stand here in this lonely grassland
and romanticize death.”

“or” he said, “we can send a prayer anyway
and hope that by the time it reaches there
something new is born out of all that is dead.
maybe when that young seed of something,
that will be made out of glowing organs of forgone star,
will hear us and pray
for the dying world of someone else.
maybe it will hear us and send us back something
a thought, a smile, a romanticized want to reach further-
to the sender of this futile love.”

“The places where I am not” – Nayana Nair

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Across this glass,
across the tired melting clouds of mist,
on the other side
there are trees and homes and forests
that are just like places on this side that I rest.

The places where I am not
look as sad as all the places I have been.
Everywhere, on every road there is always a person
who knows a way to break my heart,
and I always end up thanking them for it.

There are rooms where I put up
lights and posters and curtains
and lovers and music,
those are the rooms I want to die in-
with some beauty, with some consolation of meaning .

But always I find the reason for my end outside these walls.
Those reasons live under the brightest light on the darkest road.
And because I was told that the light that I don’t know of
is the one that saves all, even the hopeless ones like me.
So my legs forget how to stop,
my hands forget how to let go,
and my blood glitters for a moment under the light of lost hopes
before it turns black, before it invites in the cold
that I always thought belonged to the inanimate world.

I think of the room I won’t reach,
and the songs and the faces and this world
that I will not be given a peace of, to keep.

As the sky fills me up, pats me down,
and tucks me in the snow
across the white,
I feel someone stir from sleep.
The wail that my throat cannot make,
finds a home in that other world, in the other me
that unlike me
knows how to cry and how to be loved for it.

“Named after stars” – Nayana Nair

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And if we are to delete, to remove,
to erase and whiten the papers
that are not a part of our hearts anymore,
then hand me the forms you want burned,
the words you wish you never heard,
and I’ll help you with your share of forgetting,
just like how you helped me memorize my own name once.

If we are to walk through the burning towns,
that we created with our own hands, which we named after stars,
to find something that is not poisoned by our time together,
then I’ll do the walking for you.

In a room filled with light
I imagine myself breaking apart, it will happen for sure,
but it doesn’t pain me yet.
But I fear the tears that will find your eyes,
the marks of flowing rivers, the civilization of sorrow
settling and flourishing on your face,
if you were to fall in love with something that is already lost.

I fear your loving nature.
I fear your heart to work for the impossible.
I fear you might see our past and mistake it for our future.
If you try to protect me even in our end,
I fear I will be left with no way out.

Between me and the true oblivion” – Nayana Nair

I woke up in tears
and I couldn’t go back to sleep.

As I slept, I felt things move around me,
someone climbing down my window,
someone flying out with unfamiliar and awkward wings.
In my sleep I heard the unbearable wailing of my words that should have otherwise lying dead on my table.

I couldn’t go back to sleep.
Because something was wrong.
Someone was again changing me without my knowledge.
Someone was again waiting for my gratitude to fill my lifeless words of thanks.

The moon was no longer a moon
but an eraser waiting for me to sleep,
so it can go on and erase everything that was left in this life.
In the 3 hours I had slept away I had already lost memories worth 3 years so easily without even putting up a fight.
Even if I didn’t know what should be here but no longer is, I somehow knew that I would always know that something is missing.
I knew what that feeling will do to me.
I knew how it would make me do everything that I regret having done.
I knew all that
because I have found myself so often at this point.

The point of forgeting – the forceful hands of God trying to pry open my hands, the painful flying away of my pain, the painful end of my love, the hideous and disgusting sight of my hands wanting something, anything to hold again at any cost.

I knew not to fall for this scheme again.
So I walked upto the window, looked at all the sleeping rooms scattered in front of me, rooms where no one really slept.
I looked at the concrete street below, felt its dangerous height in me, felt the distance between me and the true oblivion.
I played with the dangerous power of choice before it frightened me with its truth.
I heard someone laugh, before I turned back.
I heard them back at their work as I found myself sleeping in the familiar bed of choices that never feel right. The only choice I want to believe I have.

“The sky told me that the suns will also die. I didn’t want to know that.” – Nayana Nair

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Some deaths are not only slow
but also beautiful.
And the eyes that are once covered with this lie of beauty
never want to see the the pain beneath.
We can accept the pain as fact, or even as a myth,
as long as it is beautiful,
as long as the center of ruin
is not our lives.

“River of light” – Nayana Nair

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There are universes
spinning around us
and they will see
how we break down.
They will not know our names
just like we don’t know theirs.
And when they come for us
falling onto our beautiful blue home,
falling into our storming seas and falling heights,
we will still believe that this beauty will save us
and in some ways it will.
In some ways it won’t.

But for today
the universe around us
inspires us to love, fill our hearts
again and again,
it cradle us tonight,
carries us from one unbearable moment to anohter
through the tunnels of serene silence,
through the river of light.

If this all is an apology for what is to come,
just like the offerings of the sad heart before it broke me once,
then maybe we don’t deserve this kindness,
maybe we are given, gifted, cared for a bit too much
in the name of the eventual end that is waiting for us far ahead.

“The door opens slowly” – Nayana Nair

I turned another corner
and walked into another house
that I knew nothing about.
The owner, the god of this land stood there
outside in the garden
telling a child how to create more beautiful loops,
how to somersault,
how to find more worms, more of everything.
An adult placed like a talisman
that couldn’t keep me
or what I bring with me away.
He didn’t even notice the grave that I carried in me,
the open pits in ground awaiting more bodies.

I walked to the front door and rang the bell
thinking, wondering what must I not be seeing
in the person I see as a fool.
I wonder if the graves in him didn’t love him back as well.
The door opens slowly and I wait.
I let my willingness to wait announce to her that it is me.
She makes me a wait a bit more-
that is the nature of game we are caught in.

Seconds and hours I spend on her couch,
waiting for the commotion outside to end,
for “the happy family on a sunday morning” to end.
She has four brother
and an almost sister that they never talk about.
She reminds me this a few more times
so that on the mental map of belonging and similarities
I find this unnamed sister closer to my role.

They rush in like a flood, like a rain gone wrong-
all these bodies that I am not supposed to see.
“They are perfect”, I thought to myself.
I thought of my mother, the anger in my home,
the counting of countless miseries,
the coarse harsh words that filled my eyes, then filled my mouth,
the gentle sunsets that drown only dreams.
“They are perfect”, I think, “for someone living in the same world as me”.

She tells them about my scholarships, about my fragile upbringing,
about the art that runs in me.
She tells them all about the things that they like.
For today she has made them into me.
I smile and say a little too less.
I smile as if I mean no harm.

But I know
I am here.
I am here and there is no escape
from the fact that eventually
I will sit in this room with my love
and with a glitter pen running out of ink.
I will draw, deepen the cracks that I already see.

Such is my nature.
Such are the songs that I live on repeat.

“but the waves run away from me” – Nayana Nair

the trees sway behind me
they tower and droop and die
above the cold parked cars.
i hear the sounds
that i couldn’t till last night
it is music to my ears
and “warnings of ruin” to my mind.
the green monster, the metal carriage,
and their lonely helpless master
face the direction of ocean.
if we were bigger,
if everything before us could melt,
if i could understand distances,
if i could drive
we could have met a love by that ocean,
we could have called ourselves friends
in that molten world,
i could have told them about the human dread of dying,
we could have laughed over it,
and the tree would have held me and my broken and beaten car
in its motherly gaze
and we wouldn’t worry whether this happiness
could heal us or not.

“harmless” – Nayana Nair

i slipped, fell, and cut my skin.
i didn’t want to care, but i did.
i couldn’t help but feel sorry for all the harmless things
that ended up being cursed at, blamed for
only because i ran towards them
with all that i had in me.
i recalled the formula of impact,
that never meant so much to me
till i realized that I also have a body
that follows every law ordained by nature.
that just because i can imagine and dream an eternity,
doesn’t make me or my feelings eternal.
i didn’t want to care about such things, but i did.
i cared so much that it hurt, even when it should’t.