“I cannot tell the difference”- Nayana Nair

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“Long time ago” is a dangerous neighborhood.
All its season are holograms of perfect world,
the illusions of rain and snow and sun,
the illusion of hearts still beating under the non-existent skin.
The technician of this a weary magic
lives beside the empty park in the middle of my heart.
He knows the perfect days to make me cry, to make me see.
He invents new people, new details.
Sometime these are fake stand-ins for the what he has lost
in his war against me, all that I intend to forget.
Sometime they are what I failed to realize,
people I didn’t get to love.
Most days I can’t tell the difference
between the words I have forgotten
and the ones I will never hear
again.
This town
has post offices with stamps of words I no longer mean
stuck on its wall.
There cars and houses and roads and rivers
owned by people who will never die.
They all gather on my birthday
in the cemetery of one grave.
They sit on the endless green grass with their picnic baskets,
with the kids I will never have, with the pets I will never keep
and look into the eyes that will never look at me.
They smile knowing something I will never know.

“Dry Rivers” – Nayana Nair

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The river is finally running dry.
I heard someone rejoicing to hear this.
What is a river without it’s water?
I am told it is money, it is development,
it is more money.

Another colony, dozens of businesses springs up.
There is nothing to be sad anymore.
I walk on the roads trying to trace
the skeleton of what is lost.

Now, I know the names of few more rivers
that are nowhere to be seen on maps.

The numbers of such ghost keep increasing.

There is a language that no one cares for.
There is a city that forces everyone to leave.
There are words that don’t sound fancy anymore.
There is an accent that needs to be exorcised from tongues-
the identity of what we are is a secret,
something we can be killed for.

But it is the season, the world
where rivers dry out beautifully,
where aches turn into anger, into revenge,
into art, into denials,
into search for something new.
But rarely does it turns into tears.

How is it we have so much to lose,
so much that is already lost
and yet have so little to grieve about.

“Well” – Nayana Nair

I left my thirst in your well-
the only way to get rid of it,
get rid of it I must.
For three seasons I filled it up with dirt.
I waited for rains to hide my steps, to hide what I have done.
I built few hills every time you crossed my thought.
I built it with love. I built it with anger.
I built it nonetheless.
I prayed and prayed till I couldn’t see your ghost,
till praying didn’t hurt.
I grew up a little and I grew mad a bit.
The sound of fate now rings louder in my head.
I lay on the ground,
smile at the sun
that cannot reach my heart
at the bottom of your well.

“Red Gates” – Nayana Nair

I drowned the flowers
one by one.
The poison of beauty
now runs through the rivers
on this land,
they fill his backyard
in every season of rain.
A child with his smile
drowns another boat of dreams,
the flood is a field of paper,
the flood is all that is left of me.
She stares into me,
waiting for a reflection to surface.
She walks into me
to see where I end.

She tells me about the boy
she can’t love and the boy
she can’t blame
as I dissolve and submerge
the red gates of her house,
the garden of forgiveness,
her school shoes, all roads to her friend
who doesn’t smile back anymore,
the spoons that remind her of hunger
for farthest worlds and people.

She asks me how deep will be this pain
of losing herself, how long she would have to smile
through this hate.
I flow into her heart,
wondering, if there
I could turn back to the flower I was,
if the end of my hate could be
the end of her pain.
If I could be her answer of hope.

“Small Impossible Dream” – Nayana Nair

Her floor had always been the color of the season
I remember this, only when I step into the mess of her life.
The spring issues lay scattered like the flowers
The pink, red, yellows, and greens,
women who only know youth,
women who only grow younger
the kind of woman she wanted to be
(what a small impossible dream)
and she almost is.
And now that she can never change
would she be happy?
When/if she comes across her own lifeless eyes in the missing posters
would she be glad to be one of the “sad popular”?
I shatter the home of her missing goldfish
in my haste efforts to pick them up
and put them out of sight- the bundles of glossy paper
that my eyes can’t handle.
I try to put them away,
wanting to throw them away
now that she wouldn’t mind, now that she won’t yell at me
or anyone for taking away too much of her.
I want to try it.
i want to try, so she has no option but to stop me.
“let’s leave her in peace” tells me my moral compass and my grief.
“i don’t want to show her the kind of respect that only dead deserve”
shouts back my anger and my love.
I drop the heaviest bag in this world on her rain soaked bed.
Her last dress, her last chocolate wrapper, her last bus ticket,
her last mistake, her last breath
everything spilling out,
everything ruining the spring that I dreamed for her along with her.

“green carol” – Nayana Nair

it takes only a second for
the children singing carols on my porch in green mufflers
to run around and burn the beach,
burying their favorite flavor of ice cream
in the sandcastle meant to be some sort of time capsule.
when i was young i didn’t have such powers.
like them
i could neither summon the seasons
nor walk towards them.
being the uninvited guest
i could neither put faith in those saw me
nor could i walk myself out.

“today’s forecast” – Nayana Nair

today’s forecast
told me about rain
that might turn to snow
which might turn to pain in my knees,
it might turn into wishing for summer
(summer is always you lying on couch tired
cursing gods for seasons you hate),
it might move my hands towards the pills
that rarely save anyone needing saving
(i really don’t trust pills
if you are not the one handing them to me).
today’s forecast tells me i should stay in,
stay away from stepping out of myself,
that in my world only minefields of you are remaining.

“Short lived season of comfort” – Nayana Nair

Any seat that I was comfortable occupying
was always unbearably cold.
People were right when they said
that something was not right with me.
For my flesh wanted to become fresh snow,
my bones the lone tree
under which sat my soul-
a child learning to count
the years of cold and whiteness,
an innocent, forgetful, and aging brain
living in a world
with no song, no spring, no rain,
to remind of all that is lost.

“Can’t do this alone” – Nayana Nair

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Hold me back
from loosing myself to the the slow pain
that reaches from within me
spiraling up to any light it can see.
Pushing me, climbing over me.
Not caring.
Needing not to care,
while my body moves
from one breaking world to other,
from one uncertain gaze to another.

As I read my own words aloud,
as I see myself trying to disown them,
to strip away my own image
that I must maintain
for others to be at peace.
I feel the need for the closed boxes of solitude
where I made my own seasons and delusions
where I rehearsed answers to questions no one ever asked.
I don’t want to go back to that place,
the only place my heart thinks of as home.
I can’t do this alone.
This life of yearning and restraining
myself from living my own life.

“Silver Moon” – Nayana Nair

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Have you reached that part of your life
where the seasons don’t matter,
and time doesn’t matter.
And the only thing that occupies your mind
is you.
Because it is the only thing
breaking in this perfect world
and you know not
how to keep this perfect thing going on.
The silver moon stays in the sky
while your eyes become useless
as the hands of god scribble endlessly,
so that the moon crumbles only in your eyes.
If you haven’t reached that part,
I hope you don’t.
And if you are already there
let’s hope we can get out of it .
For the only hope I have is-
if only I can hold myself together,
there is still that beautiful world out there
whose memory keeps us alive this season-less land.