“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.

“It took me years, it took me you, to find a truth that was not a selfish reflection of me” – Nayana Nair

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Once she had a bite of my fate
she became a restless ghost.
She looked like all my ugly wishes staring back at me
but she had a beautiful smile so it was more bearable to my eyes
than to wear my own desperate words on my unsightly lips.
She looked out of place, but in a good way
as if she was the invitation to some place where my light won’t die.
Even in her voice it was my own words
that asked me to leave, that told me to love for the last time.
As my shrieks danced in the empty corridors
she planted a seed of eucalyptus in my palm,
she covered my hand with hers,
and covered our hands in dirt.
She told me how, for years, only the smell of eucalyptus
could calm her mind,
it made her believe that there was a gentle cure
to every disease that hurt her heart.
As she spoke such words that were not extraordinarily sad
I felt my spine become soft.
I dreamt of her leaning against my back
relieved of her every pain
and maybe it was the only beautiful wish
that has ever been born from my heart.
Once I touched the shadow of her heart
I grew and bloomed and learnt to be the one
who waits, heals,
loves, and breaks without bounds.

“Wedding Photos” – Nayana Nair

It was like magic
running the highlighter, the bright crayon
over the sepia hands of her.
She didn’t complain or cry
as we ruined another photograph of hers,
as we tried to hide the evidence
of her failed love, our failing life.

We cut her out, moved her away
from the one who looked like us.
We placed her side of story, her half of heart
in the albums.
Albums that felt lighter
now that the responsibility
to remember only the good, its difficulty
was no longer our business.

We shredded few faces of his,
few others we drowned in ink.
His face was the reason we couldn’t look at ourselves,
the reasons of all the hurting words
we learned so fast.

After we ruined everything for good
we stared at each other,
and saw the tears we should’t be having in us.
This wasn’t how magic is supposed to feel.
Why?
Why was there no thrill, no relief in what we had done?
Isn’t it our turn to be free from the one who left?

“News of my new love and loveless life” – Nayana Nair

DRAWING THE STARS WRONG
all my hopes, now in your hands,
feel like signs of trouble.
i liked it on paper, the broken star in red ink,
but not on my sky.
can i undo my steps to you?
will my heart break even if you leave my skin?

STRIPPING YOU OF FLESH
before i turn away from you
there are things that must be done.
(only painful things are remaining
no matter what i choose)
everyday for a hour i must imagine
being alone in this world.
everyday i must imagine
the relief you would feel
at my absence.
everyday i must imagine you with someone
and being capable of caring.
i must imagine in detail and color.
i must put you on a window in clothes
i don’t recognize.
i must strip you of my love
and hope you feel the warmth,
even when my heart tells that you won’t.
i must stand outside the shop i plan to leave you at
and practice standing there without tears in my eyes.
i must take your feelings out of picture
to take even one step away from you.
before i turn away from you
i have to turn into the person
who won’t be able to walk towards any happiness
after leaving you broken.

MESSED UP SEARCH HISTORY
in my room, on my phone,
with another love, in the crowd
that will never be mine,
i feel my heart drunk on you again.
and everywhere you are with me
i need someone else
to keep me from making another mess
in your name, for my sake.
in return, i love them the only way i can,
the way only i can,
by removing you from the search history of my mind
every second i live.
i love them
by holding them back from running to the one,
who like you, can only love in dark dripping red
and swelling universe of purple.

THE EASY WAY TO LIVE
speaking without fear,
loving without abandon,
sitting in sunshine,
somehow loving the world,
wanting to stay alive,
getting comfortable with the concept of wanting,
knowing the feeling of being considered and seen,
(all this
with you at the back of my mind).
i told you, all this is my life now-
the easiest life i have ever had.
i hope you believe.
it would be the happiest end,
if you would accept this
as the last scene of me in your life.
i want to live so better,
just so that you can forget
the me who could do nothing but get hurt
only because i didn’t want to live without love.
i want to be better than that, even if it makes me sad.

“Now I cannot hate myself” – Nayana Nair

But now I am not
me anymore.
Now I cannot hate myself
like I used to before.
Liking myself was never option,
for me anyway.
If only I could be one person
with a constant heart,
maybe then I could have
understood myself with enough time,
could have found the heart to see myself
as a mere human that I am.
But this,
this possession of my body
and my heart
by a new unknown
everyday
is tiring.
Today
the loneliness that I couldn’t show,
the songs I was supposed to forget,
the kiss that never left my lips
all become my new self.
Tomorrow it will be something else.
But it is a tiring relief
to lose my hate to confusion.

“Threadbare belief” – Nayana Nair

Have we crossed the bridge yet?
The one you promised
is just a heartbreak away.
The one which would crumble
once I cross it.

I imagine the threadbare braided ropes
ready to untie and become one with my past.
I imagine having to do nothing with
how I have lived so far.
It is such a relief to think it is possible.

But the more I walk through your silent forest
the more my suspicions grow-
that there was never a way out of this from the beginning,
that there is no running away.

“Words that I must not forget, but I will” – Nayana Nair

A stranger told me
that I am capable of living better,
if only I throw away my thoughts and assumptions
about what I deserve and what I should not want.

The sun tiptoed around me
stealing a bit of my shadow for every minute
that I stood at the door created by these words.
But I didn’t have the courage to go inside.

So I went back to living my life in the worst ways.
But, for some time I was happy just by thinking
that there exists a door that one day I can open,
that I probably looked more human that I thought.

That in itself was a happiness, a relief
I never thought I could feel-
knowing that the what I had lost was not myself,
but the only heart to face myself, to comfort myself.

“Meant to be lost” – Nayana Nair

Drops of your sweet memories
are settled on my heart,
on this morning, in this world
where I was meant to be lost.

It is a relief that
you are here in some form,
that I cannot truly forget you.
Thankfully, you cannot come from past
to ask me whether I have been doing well.
I am not sure what I would do.
Would I lie to ease your heart?
or
Would I lie to hurt you even more?

I do not want to remember the life
that I am living.
I have not changed a bit you see.
Denial was my preferred drug.
Maybe I am able to love you now in some way
because you are not the reality that my heart can’t take
but another excuse to keep my eyes closed.
I can love you now
since you are not here with me
to be hurt by what I am.

“Reflections in Failure” – Nayana Nair

I realized in my failures
that I was not nearly as good as I thought I was
and whatever I am was not worth that much
at least not in my own eyes.

And nothing I did could change anything
unless I could see the significance
of what I am and what I do.

I worked hard.
I lost sleep.
But my efforts to become worthy of my dream
turned out to be too less.
I turned out to be too less.

But somehow I was relieved to see
that even when I was empty-handed
I knew how to find my way to the beginnings
and start again.
So I couldn’t pity myself in that moment
but feel almost an admiration for this person
who didn’t know how to give up.

“What I Remember(5)” – Nayana Nair

No it is not an escape anymore
because
it is not only me
who is into these addictions of milder kind.
All I want is what everyone already has.
Don’t worry these books and music I get high on
don’t alter my perception of reality
like they used to before.
So I am fine with irrelevant goals of
having one more book to read, one more page to fill up,
and some hours to sit and stare at screens of literature of a cruder form.
They may not constitute the real meaning of life.
But I have not seen anyone who is particularly worried
about missing the real point of life.

. . .   .   .     . 

I know this consumerism and media culture irritates you.
That I look like one of the thousands who sit and demand
to be entertained, to be fed with something other than
the reality of insufficient time and cash.
Would it make me more real, would your gaze become more softer
if I bring up a portion of my life where I was hurt by this world,
when the reality didn’t change just because of my disappointment in it.
That not everyone can be one with the nature and one with society,
when nature is far away from where we are locked,
when society is all about waiting for someone else
to mess up on a grander scale than us.
See that is what I don’t want to talk about.
It is depressing enough to live it.
We can either discuss about how I almost found friend in a fictional character,
found a mirror or even a window in another,
how I do not agree with most reviews,
how I couldn’t get the tragic end of the story out my head.

. . .   .   .     . 

I don’t mind sitting in front immaculate shows of lies
if that is where the my temporary relief of my life is hidden,
at least we are entitled to that much – relief.