“the door opens, and i let in whatever comes in, whatever comes back” – Nayana Nair

.

a rose sits at the center of the table.

the surface of wood is sinking,
going under, losing the feeling of its own legs.

everything that i pick up from the world
(the alien objects with the scent of decaying lemon)

their destination is this – this piece of furniture.
everything in this one room life can trace its origin back,

back to a person who is not me. i have been gifted life
and the tools to live. i have been gifted the recipes-

the best way to mix, bake, boil, and burn. every surface of rest
speaks and has a face, their face. their face frowns

at the taste of food i make and my inability to eat. the three meals i cook
never reach my stomach. i can only hope for sleep after these

pointless rituals of remembrance. hunger
is the last thing on my mind. on the mornings when i wake up

with eyes open for a change, i see the clutter for what it is. i see
the shrine and offerings and gods of past. i feel i am not really praying

but begging them to come back. “how to revive a god, how to be looked at again”
these are the thoughts that flood in me

every time an offering is rejected, every time the room remains dead.
the door opens only for me, only by me. a rose again breathes its last

in my hand. there is life i realize. there is life everywhere. but also
there is the end to it. both cannot be had at will.

the wait for both is never without pain.

“Our knowing of faith” – Nayana Nair

.

“What do you know of prayers?” she asked,
as she held my hands together within her own.
I asked her “Don’t you know anything about me?”
and there appeared another crack on her hands,
there bloomed another rose in her hair
there was another smile – the “looking down” smile,
“you don’t know any better” smile,
“you will soon thank me” smile,
“I know you hate my smile” smile.
I tried to imitate it, to drape it on my own face.
Cause even if it didn’t seem like that, I loved her smile.

I stared at her smile
wanting to save it somewhere in me. I stared
at her small beautiful parts
wanting to un-see the person she is in this moment.
I am always trying
to forget how suffocated these moments with her are.
I am always trying to forget
that with her words of love there was always a plea,
a suggestion, a manipulation – to make me something like her.

Would it make me seem pathetic, petty, or romantic?
if i called her a poison. Though everyone here is a poison,
even me, but she is a poison for me, the only poison
that works on me. The only one I didn’t want a death from.
She tells me about another deity I will never believe in.
She tells me a bit more about saving, about faith, about her own self
that can never be broken, how even breaking can’t end her now.
I wished she was right, I wished there would be never an end to her.

I wished for all kinds of ends for myself,
even the ones without her. But in no version
did I invent an agreeable version of her that will better for me.
She has to be herself. Whatever that might mean for me.
I wonder if there would come a day like that, a day when
she would love me like that. Do I even want a day like that?
Can I even tolerate a change in her?
Wouldn’t that break me more than anything?

I get up and say something about “better things to do”
and she says something about “the dangers to the faithless”
and I can only smile for now
at this weird, beautiful, messed up part of our life
at our of differences, knowing of love,
at our knowing of faith in different things that save us in their own ways.

“Home of Blindness” – Nayana Nair

.

I have to sing
and keep singing,
have to keep begging people to dance within my heart,
within the confines of these bricks,
with the parts of me that can’t die
and parts of me that I wish I still was.
I have to keep inventing reasons and occasions
I have to paint every meaning within me
in the boldest loudest colors.

Because the moment it all stops
I will hear the shouts again.
There is no silence in this world.
Outside, everyday
the fearful children of a fearless god
shout his name again and again.
Asking for reason, for rain,
for roses carrying their name.

I also once stood there, in the dark corridors,
on burning roads
asking god to love only me,
to hold my hand, to save me alone.
It is a very dark road,
the one we take to find
the light that will only belong to us.

And there is only this home of blindness
far away from all the crying and ceaseless hoping
where I can use these eyes of mine
for something more than holding and spilling tears,
where I get to sing for the god within the song.
I worship these walls that hold me in my place.
I worship all of your laughs, all the steps the never stop.

But I am still afraid
because tears still come easy to me,
because even this borrowed light whispers the name of one
who I still hope to reach.
The one who should exist somewhere outside these walls.
But I can only be here in this world of his
if I don’t run to him all the time.
I can be his, without falling short or falling apart,
only if I substitute what he has made for what he is.