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“Another Birdless Cage” – Nayana Nair

please don’t ask me how my friend is doing.
we broke up.
we broke up the most decent way friends can break up.
without deceit, without betrayal,
without cruel words or bloody knife on our backs,
without stories to hurt each other with,
without attempts to patch up things,
without deleting each other’s number that we never bothered to memorize.
i do not remember her till someone says her name
and when the sound of her name finds me through a stranger’s lips,
i do not feel bitterness. i not miss her.
a part of my heart is glad that life didn’t turn her my enemy
but a part of me wonders how she turned out to be nothing in my life.
when i see facebook notifications with her name,
when i get a reminder of her birthday,
when she calls me up once in a blue moon
to ask a favor for “her friend”
without bothering to ask how i have been,
what is it that am i supposed to feel?
i think it should hurt in some way.
i am waiting for it to hurt.
i am waiting to realize the meaning of this loss.
i am waiting for the day I miss her.
i want to miss her so much.

“Estranged” – Nayana Nair

when you slipped into my arms
and tried to tell me stories
in your broken language,
when you got all your numbers wrong,
when you touched my face
with your tiny hands,
i almost forgot
that you are not mine.

i shouldn’t have.

“god’s work” – Nayana Nair

i wanted to say
please don’t drag my god
into your selfish quest for power.
please don’t turn my god
into a tool to manipulate mind.
but i couldn’t say those things
for my god was no longer my god,
he/she belonged to people who were ready
to accept any lie, any cruelty
to propagate their beliefs and their way of life
to protect their gods (or so they say).
so i had no choice
but to cut myself from this doctrine
of power and numbers.
not to protect my god,
but to protect my mind and myself,
to protect my faith in the endangered humanity
when all i face are the proofs of its non-existence,
when all i find are people who think shaming people
and spilling blood is god’s work.
maybe it is selfish
but i want to remember my god as someone more kinder.

“Running Stream” – Nayana Nair

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My hope waits for the day that this skin won’t alien,
like a loss,
like a counter running out of number
like our voices running out of things to say.

***

And my wishes for a gentler nature,
or to be that cool-headed person I once read about,
or to be the running stream of water
before it was poisoned.
All changed to wanting
something that is not waiting to vanish.

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