“Melting a Rose” – Nayana Nair

In rooms like these
my hollowness becomes real.

It becomes an ant that won’t stop walking
with its tiny feet across the span of my hands,
a felling that won’t rest.

It feels like the rain
that falls and fills everything before me.
Leaving me alone. Alone to think of you.

And I.
again I find in you

a hope?
a reason to run away?

hope

I wrap your moonlight around me.
I melt this rose of tears.

I melt myself and my shields
so that you can see me as I see you.

In rooms like these,
with your hope in me

I can’t help but close my eyes

and dream of finding me in front of you
holding onto my heart

and you finally smiling back.

a reason to run away

I look at my bleeding hopes,
unlike you I have not yet learnt
how to not hurt.

So I bleed silently, fearing
I might be the wrong answer,

fearing the regrets that you might discover
the hurt you might know

due to the imperfections that I collect
and fill myself with.

Every time I dream of you
the rose in my heart melts a little more.

The melting drops burn my eyes.
There is only pain in the place where you used to be.

“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

“The thought of losing you” – Nayana Nair

Today you are silent
and you don’t care.
You have changed
without changing anything about you.
You don’t want to be concerned with
should-be or could-be
as all that matters is what is.
what-is is a fact that needs no forgiveness
from what-didn’t-come-to-be.
You beg me not drag you down
into the waters of the past, “They are ugly
they are hard, they are things that we can’t have.”
is all you say about the life we once had.
what-didn’t-come-to-be is an ocean I must swim alone,
an ocean that just grows and grows deeper and wider
cause I can’t seem to stop hoping from you.

In the forms of “Renewal and Hope”,
in the forms of “Happy Married Life Again?”,
you fill the reason as “wandering and its joys”.
So I burn up all such papers
where you won’t look me in the eye
and tell me the truth
or at least some believable lie.
I burn away this life
where you wander in every direction but mine.
Where I am not wrong for you,
you just don’t want me to be the right.
“It scares me”, you once said, “the thought of losing you.”
How well you have grown, how far you have strayed
from your words, from yourself, and from everything
that you once happily called fate.

“My grief has my face” – Nayana Nair

My grief has my face.
My grief has only questions in her eyes-
questions that require me to cry
and accept the cruel face of the love I have got.
My grief instead gets my silent embrace,
my refusal to choose better, for her sake or mine.
My grief has my face
and my heart that only knows defeat
and only in defeat has found comfort of love that cannot live in me.

“Nothing to do with love” – Nayana Nair

I want this sadness that dissolves in me,
that never goes away,
never stands apart from me,
never looks me in the face with questions
or even answers.
I am ready to take vow with this heartbreak
as long as it feels like you,
promises eventually to replace you,
as long as my love is greater than you.
I do nor have to miss you,
call you, beg you,
force myself to forgive you,
hate you silently,
or practice breaking with grace.
I do not have to do things
that have nothing to with love
as long my sadness is mine alone.
I can bear this and more
as long as I remember my genuine heart
and not you.

“the darkness that she sings for me” – Nayana Nair

i am in love
with the woman who sings and
becomes the background
of my every night.

i like to listen to her voice
as she takes my every second
keeps it out of my reach,
teaches me some really suspicious ways
to keep myself safe from the her demons.

she glows in the darkness that she sews
only for me,
for me to hold her hand the way
she will never be held,
the way i will never be held.

i hate to cry,
i have cried for a long time
for people who called me their option
when i was out of earshot
my tears are cheap, now all they do
is make me feel equally cheap
but the tears i shed for her life are beautiful
the tears i shed for her (who feels like me)
stops me from taking pills i don’t need.

another lover of hers sat opposite me few days ago.
she looked so much like her.
it made me wonder if i looked like her as well.
i wonder she knows her lovers are running amok
in the world that she paints with her pain.
i wonder if she knows that we are catching all her fears,
staying away from guys who speak like her ex,
staying away from the patterns she has pointed out.

i wonder if she knows
that we tell strangers “she sings well, she writes well”
when we want say
“she made me embrace the woman in me
that i have been trying to kill for a long long time.
she stood in my moonlight
counting all the daggers that make her bleed every day,
the same daggers that i fear to acknowledge,
telling me about the exact number of days it takes to collapse again,
about the face, her heart, and her womb that are for anyone’s taking,
about her rage, her mind, and her will that she was allowed to keep.
how she wanted to give up last night.
how giving up can become a concept of life every easily
but she didn’t want that,
because she didn’t want to be
the sad pathetic corpse of the woman
that the world said she would eventually be.”

i am in love with the woman
who wants me to be more than a silent background.

“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.

“Sense of Urgency” – Nayana Nair

Today I realized
what to call all that I have been reading for so long.
A person I didn’t mean to overhear called it ‘a sense of urgency’-
the desire to save this world as soon as possible.

It seems the enemies are too many.
I saw many names in the list of these enemies
that I silently agreed with-
pollution, dictatorship, bullying,
monetization of education, competing in a rigged world,
oppression of lives and loves of minority, hate crimes,…

I scoffed at some:
the collapse of society in the hands of socially withdrawn,
collapse of economy in the hands of those who want and do less,
the unfeeling and unapologetic generation that seems to love depression,
women whose learning and thinking too much only breaks families,…

“this is the cause worth dying for”-
I suddenly became afraid of that feeling.

As I read all the absurd causes I couldn’t agree with.
As I read and became exasperated at the words of those
who were convinced that they knew better
even as they killed and killed and killed
and got addicted to seeing blood dissolving in oceans.
I realized
how dangerous this feeling could be.

“this is what to means to change the world.
to change the world
is to walk over everything I don’t want to see”
My sense of urgency hated me for thinking this.
It recited every quote about silence of good men.
But all I could now see was the line that I must not cross,
the words I must not say, the knife that I must never hold-
no matter the cause.

“Redraw” – Nayana Nair

Every time I held your hand, I felt it.
Your blood, your voice, your mind
taking a step back,
a silent declaration,
“I can only love you this much”.

~

I stood on the lines I am not meant to cross.
I shifted uncomfortably from one leg to another,
afraid what my next step could do to your heart.
Wondering how much of this distance
is due to my insignificance?
How much of its reason roots in your fears?

~

I hope I knew how to fix things
that are not broken.
I wish I knew how to erase and redraw
our painfully distant orbits.

“Eavesdrop” – Nayana Nair

From my empty room,
from the edge of my personal cliff,
I looked into the windows of strangers,
looked over their shoulder at texts they write,
looked at the pages where their bookmark rests,
silently waited at the edge of my chair
trying to overhear responses to the big questions.

And all I have known by prying so hard
is that there is nothing there.
Nothing in the text that could pass for shorthand.
The same book rests on the same table for years,
serving only the role of a carefully thought out accessory.
No question is big enough to be carefully considered.
No relationship is important enough to be held to heart.
That I was foolish to believe otherwise till now.
That I am putting myself on another path to heartbreak
if I do not believe in the night that I see.
I must unlearn the way I have lived
to find a place to belong.

In between the cold beginning and cruel ends
that are the parentheses of our lives,
there is nothing for me to hang on to.
But it helps to know
that there are plenty of empty rooms in this painful smaller eternity,
that I need not kill myself over an emptiness so common.
And it is really difficult to feel alone once I know that.