“I looked for you” – Nayana Nair

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In the orange forest of drowning suns
I saw your face in the light going out first.
I stood with my empty nets, on a boat, with oars
that won’t budge, won’t sail away from your closing eyes.
I played this only memory I had of you
throughout my journey back.
When my feet found a ground to breathe again,
you had already grown bigger, sadder, scarier,
sorrier presence in my life.

Through my dinner that night,
I thought up names you may have had,
the people you may have loved,
the heartaches you thought would never end.
I thought of how easily things end,
how nothing in our heart
can save our heart from this lonely end.
Were you thankful or sad that you had to know this,
to share this realization
with a stranger made of cold eyes and numb limbs?

That night I looked for your body in every ocean I had in me.
I don’t know what was the point of this search
but I knew I had to do something about you,
that my feet had to walk distances because of you,
that something in me must hurt more than it did now.
That finally I had to die with you,
to know what I don’t know now,
to know even a fraction of your pain.
I was sad and relieved that my need to know you
ended there – with that thought,
with the steps I cannot take.

“the shadow at the foot of my bed” – Nayana Nair

today is the birthday of one another oddity of mine.
on a day like this,
few calendars ago
i learnt how to turn my helplessness into my charm.
i learnt to fill the glasses, the throats of everyone i know
with something sweet, with a taste they can’t name.
i learnt to become something that can’t be known or hurt.
in my bedroom i sit at the foot of my bed
trying to block out the presence, the weight
of the other half of my body
clinging, clawing, crying, dissociating.
i again forget where i am.
i again forget how to stop shaking.
if i walk a bit more into the darkness
i feel i won’t have to pretend to be the one
who has a say in what happens to her.
a hand slips into mine.
sometimes it rests on my waist,
and i force myself not to feel nauseated.
love him. love her. i tell myself repeatedly.
love. love. love. love till i can make up for all my lacks.
my love is my penance, my apology
to anyone who chooses me as their destiny.

“What I Remember (14)” – Nayana Nair

LOVE IS …

hiding my smile when you walk towards me
talking your name, just because i can
(just to make sure that i can).
feeling like a child when you call my name back.
interrupting the meaningful silence
with pointless debates,
pretending to sulk, acting cute,
being happy to act like idiots for once.
wasting away time,
walking towards nowhere
because that is what we do.

painting each other again
till we get it right.
loving in every way possible.
trying to become the love
that cannot be forgotten.
sweet words, sad past,
family tree in red ink,
lost friends, lost innocence
fill our time.
reliving the past that we suffered alone
in each other’s presence.
finding meaning in destiny,
agreeing with god’s plan,
begging for a day more
of this, this happiness
that fills us with dread and hope
of being understood.

waking at midnight,
hiding my body that you have killed for the day.
waking at noon,
looking for you, giving you second chances.
getting back only one word reply-
‘hi’,’ok’, ‘hmmm’, ‘lol’,’k’, ‘bye’.
waking up again and again.
going to sleep again and again.
murmuring your bitter name in my sleep
with tears i won’t remember.

silence – avoiding uncomfortable topics
silence – avoiding fights
silence – nursing wounded ego
silence – planning revenge (or something of that sort)
silence – being handed the list of shortcomings
silence – being handed ultimatums
silence – having nothing to talk
silence – feeling lonely
silence – ‘love’ has left the chat

waiting at cafes
that sell drinks which taste
like the mass-produced dreams
that make your heart burn
and everything with chocolate
as a cheap therapy,
as they play breakup songs on repeat
to normalize the pain of every kind.

“Last Dream” – Nayana Nair

Last night
I wanted to dream of you
but I couldn’t.
The picture of you
that I had in my mind
was that of the smile
that was never yours,
just a front for the photographs
that you never wanted to be taken.

***

And all I could remember about you was
how you would move noiselessly
through my home, my mind and my memories
with a care that I didn’t have.
How your silent nods
were my greatest assurance.
How your hands were my gloves.
How you enveloped me with your presence
and burned till I forgot the freezing world.
How for a short period of my life
I was glad to be myself,
that I was the one you loved.
I wanted that lost time to be my dream,
to find you in that dream
and to tell you that you are precious to me.
So that the smiles on your photographs become real.
So that I become the reason of your beautiful smiles.

“Collecting Myself” – Nayana Nair

These four walls that cuts us off from the world
puts me again in that same position that I dread.
My weakness that I once thought I had cast away
is holding onto my fingers again.
If only the world had not abandoned me here with you.
I could have found some comfort in its words-
you are worth better” or “you are happier alone“,
then I could avoid this hurt that has already risen in me.

~

As usual you look out of the window.
You have always been good at ignoring my presence and my feelings.
I have always envied you for being like this,
for being able to stand your ground, being sure of hatred
and not looking back at what didn’t work out.
But not me.
I believe too much in second chances-
the second chances that I never got.
I am again that person
who is thinking up of words to say
to make you stay,
trying to find a promise that I have not uttered yet
that will make you realize that I cannot be replaced in your heart.

~

But there are days that you have let me down
and days where I have not been enough for you-
the memory of which all my tears have not been able to wash away.
So I collect my belongings and myself
to get out of this painful isolation with you,
this fruitless attempt of our hopeful friends
who wish to see us happy and together again.
I no longer believe love
to be an effort of one person
to latch onto the other who wants to leave
who always has a better plan
and a better person in mind to move toward.
I no longer have the heart to love you anymore.

“Before you were here” – Nayana Nair

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I can tell myself again and again
that you are mine,
you are mine.
But I know as you do
that only because you found me and saved me
doesn’t mean that you are bound to me.
Though my presence can show you
some part of you, that you cannot see otherwise;
in no way you are incapable to live
without all that you call precious now.
All that I rely on, obsess over
in the name of love
seem like a sickness in some moments.
So I tell myself again and again
that you are mine
and nothing will change,
only to stop myself from cutting your ties
to all that threatens me.
As I exist tethered only to you,
I practice to speak to the air
like I did before you were here.
I hope you never suffer for becoming my hope.

“Burn the Flowers” – Nayana Nair

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Your severe gaze
resounds and echoes
the meanness only humans have.
But your hands melt at anything you touch
so that nothing,
even water,
is disturbed by your presence
in this world.
How did you learn
make that face
that kept people at distance
and kept them on their toes.
How hard was it
roam in this world (that you loved too much)
knowing everything would hurt you,
and knowing the defeat at the face of the war
that you never wanted
and you can never win.
How hard is it,
to burn the flowers
born out of your soul
only so people would
avoid the impending disaster
that you are not.

“Trivia” – Nayana Nair

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All the bits of you
the pieces of trivia,
that will never be asked anywhere,
you handed it to me-
on our way to work,
in your sleep,
in your half-audible mumbling
while you brushed your teeth.
I thought they were too much
than what I can hold,
I kept them in pockets
of any cloth that I had on me.
And after all these years
when I look for them,
just when I found my memory lacking your presence,
they were nowhere to be found.
So as you decide on what to eat
I ask you again as I often do,
about one small irrelevant fact about you
that I will soon forget.

“How many more lines” – Nayana Nair

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How many more lines should I write
for you to actually see
the happiness that creates ripples
under my skin at your smile.
The sadness that leaves marks
on my wrist,
on my neck,
at the end of everyday.
And the comfort of your presence
in whose warmth
my ever-flowing tears
find fingertips
that can hold and embrace them.
I carry a love in my heart
that can be accepted and
reciprocated by you,
but never understood.

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“Frail Thread” – Nayana Nair

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These lines that
connect to my heart,
pass through landscapes
devoid of human presence.
This frail thread
passes through valley of flowers
that have no color.
Through balconies overlooking
desolate streets and
sky crowded with stars.
Through stairs leading to floors
that no one visits.
Through the branches of old trees
broken in the storms.
Through abandoned toys in locked rooms
with no owners.
Through the warm sheets
where I rest with my dreams.
and bring loneliness of the world
that lies beside me,
while I wonder
why do I feel so hollow inside.