“To stay” – Nayana Nair

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The city of wax and sun was,
for the lack of better words,
like living in a home that will vanish
and does vanish-
the vanishing always a spectacle and a sorrow.
The nights were all about
breathing religiously every second
to catch a brick, a bell, a railing to hold onto,
the dear gods carved in stones,
the plate touched by my mother.
Breathing in again and again
and coming up all empty,
we used to wait for sun and dread its heat
always worried and excited
about the drops and vapors we would catch
and all that we were going to lose.
Since nothing apart from the breathing would survive,
since the new-born stone and grass
knew nothing of death or its mark,
there never was a funeral,
no graves, no photographs to devote our tears to.
All our oceans would rise within us
falling at the steps, the stones, the memories
of everything that cannot prove its reason to stay
anymore.

“blessed by the hands of time” – Nayana Nair

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there.
see there.
that is the soft tree
made of sheep
from my dreams
that i told you about.
the one from which blood drips
the moment i find
the warm back of sleep.

there beside it
is the ink i never used.
the words
i couldn’t bring myself to say.
it is a cloud now.
it is now rain
or rather a promise of rain.
so it is safe.
and beautiful.
it is a reliable source for thirst.
it will stay there for an eternity.
it will only grow more.
it will probably
be the measure of my life.

it will be there
always overlooking
this faithless temple,
these buildings
filled with hollow books,
this smoke that leaves my body
as i burn again.
overlooking this farm
blessed by the hands of time,
where all the food i couldn’t stomach,
everything of this world
that i couldn’t accept
grows back again from the soil
for me to see.

sit here beside me
i will show you the world
that i am doomed to see,
since you want to know me.
see there, all that
was there in me
before i created new doors
in this world for you.
all this will remain with me
when you are gone.
and you will be gone
you just don’t know it yet.

“I never have to wonder, I never have to break” – Nayana Nair

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In the shade of a fruitless spring-less tree
as I tried to recall and write down
all the phone numbers I once knew by heart,
I looked at the sky
and laughed for thinking too highly
of myself and thinking too little about my heart.
That is the last thing I remember
before I was possessed.

Oddly I always remember this point of contrast
marked by the last tear I actually cried.
Whatever now had made home in me
convinced me
that I could be complete even if I stay as who I am,
that I could stand in this world
witnessing beauty, love, companionship, faith, life
and be happy
even if it could do nothing for me, even if they were not mine.

Someone, who couldn’t possibly have been me,
lived my life in my place from that moment,
and I never had to wonder again
if I am allowed to live like this.
I never picked up another paper I threw in the trash.
I now never tried to play the role of the one with bigger heart.
I was finally free of hope, of love, of being myself.
Now it was the work of whoever wanted this body,
whoever wanted my life.

“Pocket full” – Nayana Nair

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The ones who left
I hope they left with pockets full of everything that was mine,
that way I can resent them in peace
and call them thieves and scoundrels when I get drunk,
instead feeling that I have wronged them by being myself,
by having nothing in me worth staying for.

“The only thing left to do”- Nayana Nair

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At the back of your hand
I had once planted a kiss
that yearns for my lips till now.

Is that excuse enough,
for me to run back to you one more time?
Would one more time,
would these words be enough
to show that I have not forgotten you yet?

Would you like to stay with this-
this sad piece for me – this mind stuck in time?

Would you walk the distance I am left to cover
and come up with an excuse of your own,
if I took the first hit at my ego with a smile
that only love can cause?

“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.

“Random Radio” – Nayana Nair

Don’t tell me of your love.
Tell me you’ll leave tomorrow
and stay a day more.
Move an inch closer
when I take your name.
Let me not believe you sometimes
and smile when I do.
I don’t want love,
but I will try to want it,
if you try to want me slowly and cautiously.
When you put on that random radio station
let me stare at you as you dance,
breathe as if I am not here,
let me see who you are without this want for me.
Smile when you catch my eye
and kiss me if I smile back.

“mornings break us apart again” – Nayana Nair

she traced the light on my chest
pulled out everything that stung-
the swings, my feet,
the shadow i decided no longer to play with.

the comparision table of veins and arteries
copied into my notebook.
the eraser and pencil that helped me document
in those tables my lackings compared to everyone else.

a page torn, and then another, and then another.
pages that learnt immortality by choosing my heart as home.

she stayed up nights trying to free me
as i stuggled and begged not to empty me.
she smiled and said the words she didn’t mean,
words that i wanted to hear from someone, anyone.

so i slept because she couldn’t be stopped.
“leave me alone” now hurt me more than her.
i opened my eyes and cried
for her work was done,
now i was no one, now nothing was mine,
not even my pain, not even her.

she dusted her cobweb skirt,
placed a kiss on my forehead
and told me to breathe,
breathe in everything
that i didn’t think i had the right to.

she told me to breathe
and to never forget what suffocation felt like.
it helps in becoming kind, she said.

as she wiped clean her traces from my life,
i felt better, again i was full.
i was full of her, of this love that won’t work out.
being full of her, i refused to breathe,
because i wanted to keep it that way.

“I always fall behind” – Nayana Nair

All the lights that were meant to light the way,
end up looking like spotlights fragmenting the world.
Fragments so beautiful
that I never bothered with moving
towards the place I was meant to go;
that I sit here, saying goodbye to people
who hope to see me wherever they will end up at.

But we won’t be seeing each other.
I let them hope anyway.
That hope makes them smile brighter.
that’s the way I want to remember them,
that’s the way I want to remember this world.

It is not easy though – to love all who love to keep walking
and to love my small place and my small heart
at the same time.
It is easier for everyone – for the one who must stay
and the one who must walk
to think of empty hands as freedom
however hollow it might feel.

“Even if you don’t want me back” – Nayana Nair

From the corner of my eye
I see you smile,
I see it fade.
I see you fade.

From the corner of my eye
falls a tear,
as I run into my mistakes,
run into my cruel words,
as I try to find you,
in this place where you once lead me by my hand.

In every space, in every memory,
in every version of our past
where you promised
you would always stay even if we part.
You look a bit more tired.
I look a bit more impatient.
This is not the reality I lived.
This is not the love I had.

Tell me,
even if it changes nothing,
tell me
that I once had your heart,
that there are moments you want to return to
even when you don’t want me back.