“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.

“The dream of life” – Nayana Nair

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I clip your favorite weather on my hair-
this everlasting rain,
these sad sad endings chasing their tails,
these graves of the dear, the most loved dogs,
the end of all songs.

I wear them
just how you wear on your neck
all the things I can’t forget-
my swelling hollow body, my soaring hatred for myself,
the stories I tell in my head, the hopes that never come true
cause I can’t bear to speak of them,
the sad sad beginnings beheading themselves.

In the land of ghosts, we waltz dressed in each other.
We dream of being alive.
Life seems so possible right now.

“flow towards me” – Nayana Nair

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your hair coils into a nest,
into a snake, into a rope
that has not decided yet what to do
with its life and with the life of the one
who holds it…what to do with me.
let me hold you.
let me find your soul.
let me see your love
whatever it looks like.
of all the things you could do,
of all the miracles you are capable of,
gift me the tiniest speck of sunshine
that is about to die, give me that little island
of light that floats in your eyes.
i want you to live.
i want to hope.
i want to be a part
of your most tender happiness.
i want to know what it means
to be closest to your heart,
closest to your breath.
come here, let your hair down,
let it flow towards me.

“no colors, no flowers for me” – Nayana Nair

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“he left me”
this is where I would have wanted everything to end,
at “he left me”…simple and clean
and yet carrying a sadness that can be forgotten
or remembered as something that just exists.
Exists not like floods but like rain.
Exists not like a story of love
but a story that had a possibility of some meaning.
“he left me” could have existed in me, in this world,
how words of no significance and no power exist.

But it didn’t end there.
What he did was simple,
but what he didn’t do
those are the things that exists like flood, like pain
that can exist without him.
He left me a leaf
and not a flower.
And knowing this, even if I forget him,
it won’t end
the pain I feel at the sight of flowers,
the anger the green fill me with,
the feeling of being wronged
at seeing everyone who gets both, while suffering less than me.

He left me a life that I am capable of living well
but a heart that won’t ever feel at ease
as long as I live wanting love for myself.

“Breathing Cities and Statues” – Nayana Nair

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When I try to imagine,
to recall the face of another human being.

I always see them standing opposite me
with an expressionless face, holding out their hand.

When they are ghosts of pasts,
they are breathing cities of peculiarities and possibilities.
I feel they were waiting for my hand to touch theirs.
I feel as if they have saved up their last smile for that moment.
The steps I couldn’t take, can now never take,
they look so easy, so worth it, so worth keeping as regrets.

But I never learn
because
when they are reflections of present,
they are breathing statues
and frozen hearts that couldn’t possibly beat.
I know that this hand is not for me,
that I have extinguished the smile on that face
just by being myself, just by existing.

Only the warm breath of passing time
can make me miss the world that could have been.
Only on the streets I cannot walk
grow my trees of faith.

But even then, even for the past
I barely feel any love.
What I feel is something similar to
the relief in the things that won’t change.
The pull I feel is for the trust that can never be broken,
my heart that I never had to give out,
the hand of every stranger that remained innocent thereby.

“Hand-painted walls” – Nayana Nair

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The answer to your question-
the truth you always ask and wonder about
is there
somewhere inside me.
But inside me are many other things
that I have not been able to find till now.
And I would have probably invited you in
and asked you to help me a bit
if you were not better than me in every sense.
Just saying this makes me feel so cheap.
It makes me the person I am always trying to hide
and inside me things are a bigger mess.
There is a river of hatred and an ocean of guilt,
the walls of past that I paint over and over
but things just keep looking worse.
And though you hope to find a sky of love there,
though you hope to find a true love or a true end,
I would rather not be loved for the possibility of who I can be,
I would rather not be looked at closely,
or loved a bit more than I deserve.
And what I deserve is a piece of cake
that keeps getting smaller and smaller every day;
a cake I dare not eat, or even want .
I am afraid in my shrinking world,
there is no place for you
or anything called truth.

“A New Hate” – Nayana Nair

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Surely, I love you.
Why else would I need to find a new me?
Why else, after all these years, would my jagged ends
and my fearful heart
bother me, when I have finally learned to look at them
with the kindness I was not born with?
But do you have to necessarily know of this-
these messy feelings of mine?
You are making me change.
You are making me learn
a new hate towards myself , just by existing.
Just the possibility that I might be in your heart
kills me, makes me come alive, makes me want to
undo the ties that I have held me safe,
made me safe for the world.
As long as you are here, I can never go back
to the life where I exist with ease.
It is ridiculous how I am convinced
that I will be never myself if I am apart from you,
even when I know it is a lie.
Today, I carve another need in my heart,
that I once could live without.
Today I hate you a bit more.
But you don’t have to know that.

“Something like love, someone like you” – Nayana Nair

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I held onto my heart
that wouldn’t stop running
towards the possibility of love,
towards you
who smiled at me
and yet never looked back.
I held onto my heart,
clawed at it, in fact.
All because this role of wanting
is an ocean of false memories and false hopes.
This feeling of losing myself to
something like love,
someone like you,
to everything out of my reach
was wearing me down
to a version of me I didn’t like.
Wanting you
has made me cautious, has made me aware
of why I can’t be the one for you,
why I can never be the one being loved.
Wanting you
makes me feel like
I can never be happy again.

“in the light that smiles nonetheless” – Nayana Nair

that’s where my anger lives

on the mud stains of a size 7 shoes
swimming on the white floor of my small apartment.

in the plants uprooted, in the marigolds strewn
and trampled on, in the light that smiles nonetheless.

on the streets where lives my fear – that finds me
and almost kills me, every time i hear footsteps behind me.

on the patronizing attitudes that i dutifully respond with gratefulness.
on the potential dangers, the possibilities of violence that every intimacy invites.
on the things i say yes to with a breaking heart.

in the mirror that only prizes my delicate frame and my weak wrist,
that tells me i would at least beautiful in the missing posters,
in the files housed in grim police stations,
in the videos and photos i would never get to know of (if i am lucky)

in the speeches that tell me i am safe
in the compartments and corners made for me.
soundproof corners where either
i would finally end up believing the facade, the lie of a safe world
or where i would learn how to stay silent to be spared the worst.

that’s where my anger lives

“Getting Rid of Roads” – Nayana Nair

I wish I could keep it all,
that I didn’t have to get rid of
the roads that won’t take me anywhere.

All the beginnings
that won’t see an end,
I wish I could hold onto them.

If only my heart was huge enough
to keep every feeling that I do not need anymore,
I wouldn’t have to abandon the sky I can’t fly in.