“Something Simple” – Nayana Nair

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The evening melts into my drink.
“I must burn something of myself here.
I must burn to remember this, to remember her.”,
I keep repeating this to myself as I stand beside the dying fire.
Suddenly my teeth ache for something cold to sink into.
I remember the orange color that used to spread on my tongue
as I drowned myself in the glass bottles of artificial citrus,
running away from the summer that I had waited for.

I walk away from the fireplace,
putting a bit more distance
from the monster that ruled the mantle,
relived to have found something simple to talk about.
I sit beside her and speak in my human voice.
I tell her of this small thought,
this small honest flaw of mine she can play with.

She asks “was that how your childhood was like?”
I could have answered “that’s how my life is and will be”,
but it was more easy to ask “what color was your tongue then?”
She recites from memory a poem.
A poem on the beauty of transparent things,
on the cruelty of everything
that own you without leaving stains,
without giving you a chance to scrub them out of your soul.
She smiled and thus handed me something
that I can consider hers for a while.

“These Roles” – Nayana Nair

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You smile
as you place the plates on table,
as you serve meals made of fire
in front of my body growing cold.

You smile
as you drag your feet
from the threshold of the door,
as you run towards the world,
as you swim back towards me.
Knowing, always knowing
that I also feel the weight of this water on us.
So you smile a bit more
and always rush to me to as if you are the lost child
when you also know the muddled one is only me.

I feel your doubts soften in my embrace
thinking of all that i have been and all that I ever could be,
all that you will ever love and never need.
And in my turn, I summon a smile thinking of what you are,
of the gentleness of your soul, of this genuine heart.
And just like our hands that are never still
trying to mimic and catch up to the heart of the other,
we are forever melting between these roles.
And because it is so,
because even this small me can save you with a smile.
I can love you even when you get wounded in my hold.
I can love you even with a guilty heart.

“Shouldn’t that put me at ease?” – Nayana Nair

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The skin of the prophets and lovers
hangs with the fresh laundry.
The dices and glasses lie forgotten
in the broken and mutated stomachs of our pet fishes.
A pot of porridge sits on the blue counter.
The potatoes, the rice, the marbled peas grow soil,
grow eyes, grow tongue, grow memories that never were.
The imitations of porcelain crack under the weight of life.
It never used to be like that.

Life used to be small and delicate and beautifully framed
within the carefully drawn floral boundaries of plates,
within the pools of small spoons.
Life is no longer like that.
Now the book of tales burn
with the missing ladles
and fake money of games no one knows how to play.
Every piece of wood, every piece of our soul,
anything that burns, only burns only what we love.
Only what we love gets to die here.

Shouldn’t that put me at ease?
That something gets to escape this world.
But all that dying,
the small pieces scraped off again and again.
Isn’t that how we got to this-
this place where even pain is dull,
where even the hopelessness doesn’t come with a heartbreak.

“i cry blood and drink blood. i live another day. still shamelessly wanting.” – Nayana Nair

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I am a fearful soul.
I can only hold the hands
that can break under my grip,
hearts that do not know
of their power over me.

I fear, no one would believe
in my fragile nature,
nor pity my deteriorating state
once I start breaking others
before eventually breaking myself.

My breaking is not my secret
even if it is an act that is remembered
only by my own hands, my own skin.
It remains a fabled tale
of the last death without spectators.

It lives to dissolve into the stronger truths,
it dissolves into the concrete results
that are now engraved with names
that were breathing just yesterday.

I walk to them
with cruel empty hands,
with loud disrespectful steps,
with brazen breath daring to still flow.

I take their name with my own,
with a sadness,
as if some part of me
has died with them as well.
As if I know anything about dying.

“flow towards me” – Nayana Nair

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your hair coils into a nest,
into a snake, into a rope
that has not decided yet what to do
with its life and with the life of the one
who holds it…what to do with me.
let me hold you.
let me find your soul.
let me see your love
whatever it looks like.
of all the things you could do,
of all the miracles you are capable of,
gift me the tiniest speck of sunshine
that is about to die, give me that little island
of light that floats in your eyes.
i want you to live.
i want to hope.
i want to be a part
of your most tender happiness.
i want to know what it means
to be closest to your heart,
closest to your breath.
come here, let your hair down,
let it flow towards me.

“Love can only be a safe haven, if we keep this distance” – Nayana Nair

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There is a kind of spell
that doesn’t let love sink into my heart.
It keeps it all suspended
between the layers
of admiration and disbelief,
of trust and that nagging doubt
that I don’t really want to think about.

Like so many, I also believed
that this love-
the shining weakness of my heart,
is safe in the growing cavity of my chest.
That, if the world doesn’t touch me
and I do my part, and never reach out
as well,
then this will be my own small forever.

It will never be hollow
till I don’t test its reality.
It will okay, till I endure
the mocking laughter in my mind
and never think about anything else.
After all, how can I lose a feeling of my making
in a world where only I exist.

But in a world where only I exist
there is also nothing to distract me,
nothing to make me forget the imaginary nature
of my meaning,
nothing else can prevent the ripping apart,
nothing to support the falling structures.
And as I guessed, as I always knew
without ever wanting to admit –
it is just one another thing
incapable of being an eternal something.

This afterimage of another soul
that I try to indulge in,
couldn’t have been anything more than this anyway.
From here, this distance,
from where I can be seen favorably and loved deeply,
this distance
where I can summon in me the spirit of sacrifice
for the idea of this one pure love that I must protect at all cost,
this distance
that gives me a chance at love.

This distance also means
that love never touches
the rocks that my tears have turned into.
It also means that
in hiding everything vicious,
I have also hidden everything that could be me.

Somehow I have learnt to be okay with the fact
that this smile that I get, the kindness I receive
is because the weed that grows on me looks more beautiful
than I can ever be.
I have already dissolved in the earth
to sustain this beautiful face that I am determined
to be remembered for.
It is too late for sincerity.
Now even my hopes have been poisoned.

“Come and Kneel and Dream” – Nayana Nair

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Come and kneel here my child.
This is our new lord, our new god.

Come here and learn his face,
learn all things he doesn’t like to see in us.

Promise me that you will never try
to be a reflection of him, never hold him in your heart.

Even as you bow to him, to powers of cruelty
repeat to yourself again and again,

that no god ever killed freedom; no savior,
no beacon of light, no provider of grain owns your soul.

This is all that I have managed to do so far-
silently witnessing and persevering.

Cowardly, I have survived without giving in, without opposing,
without saving, without killing anyone, protecting just you and me.

To bow my head with tears in my eyes
is the only thing I could do with the strength the new gods left in me.

I do not know what to ask from you, what to teach you
but somehow you must outlive all those who prey on all things good.

My crimes of silence and tolerance leaves me no right
to speak of peace or love or future

but I feel fear and hope thinking of you.
You – who has never seen the world with open sky and kinder hearts

will either dream of a strength drawn out of blood of others
or you might just realize the value of everything that people call weak now.

Come and kneel here my child, in front of all those who teach us
to build our own prisons and build them bigger thrones.

All those who hold our lives hostage binding us with our own fear-
look at them and imagine a world where they don’t exist; not even within you.

“the star you are looking at” – Nayana Nair

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she said
“the star you are looking at, that almost has your heart
is already dead long before
and even if you pray for her
it will reach her too late.
that is the nature of distances
that exists between us and them.
our prayers don’t matter
they will never get to hear it.
we can only stand here in this lonely grassland
and romanticize death.”

“or” he said, “we can send a prayer anyway
and hope that by the time it reaches there
something new is born out of all that is dead.
maybe when that young seed of something,
that will be made out of glowing organs of forgone star,
will hear us and pray
for the dying world of someone else.
maybe it will hear us and send us back something
a thought, a smile, a romanticized want to reach further-
to the sender of this futile love.”

“and one day i stopped without wanting to” – Nayana Nair

i am a girl who reads too much between lines, especially yours.
and your words, they were cold
but they were warmer than the pages they were written on.
and since i wanted to love you
i tried to see your world as one big adventure
even when my heart was filled with fear.
i tried to do things that might make you happy,
to say the words that might put you at ease.
though i suffered greatly,
being with you made up for everything,
or so i thought.
but in the hope to be loved
i bent a little too much
forgot where to stop,
i went overboard with the idea of sacrifices and promises
and forgot to look at the blood and life i had lost.

one day he would grow up,
one day he would realize,
one day his love for me, would actually feel like love
“-
were the words i lived by.
but isn’t it pathetic
that even when i have no use for these words,
even my soul is more sore than alone,
at night when i count the pieces of me,
and the numbers just won’t add up,
the thing that i am most sad about is that
i was so easy to love
and yet you couldn’t
.

“Incomplete Sentences” – Nayana Nair

Sit beside me
while I sleep.
Put your hand into my soul.

I do not not where it is.
Maybe you would have to find it first
before we can start with anything.

But finding this soul
I think
would be a start in itself.

In my dreams, become the air
that insists on not letting me fall
when I try to jump to my …

You know what I want to say,
right?
Don’t let me complete such sentences.

Help me find
what I have lost
to my grief.

Maybe in what I have lost
lies my will to live,
lies my hope to love you better.