“Hope and Wait” – Nayana Nair

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I looked at you for a long time
and for a long time you pretended to sleep.

For a long time
you closed your eyes,
even when tears spilled,
even when laughter almost made out.

I placed my hand in yours and waited.

I hoped even when you pretended to be stone,
pretended to be wax, pretended to be mine,
pretended to want me gone.

I hoped, I waited to held in your arms.

I hope.
I wait.
I pretend to do all this with ease.

I pretend to be a shelter
as I hunger melts my stomach,
as words melt my mouth.
I do not know what you pretend to be.
Not yet.

I wonder
if I let my eyes close,
if I chose my weakness,
if I hide,
will you take my place, place your hands in mine
and pretend to wait?

I won’t mind such lies and such pretense.

*I wonder if our lives could change
if we didn’t feel burdened
by truth and lies all the same.

“All the boxes are checked” – Nayana Nair

It hurts a bit more naturally
and less violently,
now that betrayal has a range,
has not one but many faces.
Now I need not figure what I did wrong.

All the boxes are checked:

family, family, friends, not friends,
thank-god-we-were-never-friends friends,
i-am-sad-i-stood-up-for-you friends,
people who marked my skin with their name
to own me
while i slept in their arms
(another golden cup added to collection of people hard to get,
people who won’t die if thrown away or left alone)
loves whom i am tied to,
the ones who demand smile and sometimes a bit more,
always a bit more.

They know the feel of my hand and love how it heals.
They hold my hand in their sleep
in their nightmares, in the storms of passion
that they need a person to aim at.
They break my wrist
in my nighmares, in my awareness of my fruitless love.
When I am at verge of crying,
they tell me to not give them a hard time
and to act like the refuge that I am supposed to be.

So I tell them “I love you”
and this lie hurts a little less everyday
as my heart becomes the stone pedestal
all my loves stand on.

“Dissociate” – Nayana Nair

my other head
bleeds and falls off
as does my bloody knife

i can no longer call myself a victim of life
now that my sin is set in stone

few more hours for the sun to rise
few more hours i must bear the company of my face
in few more hours the world will love me
now that i look like them and kill like them
they will surely love me
for having one less brain and one less mouth

my eyes look back at me
not accusingly but with pity
of what have i done to myself
but i dare not cry
and act as if i am the one being wronged
my tears- i’ll be burying them under the red petunias
that you loved

my hearts beats furiously
as if running towards something, perhaps an end
end of me? end of her?
it feels wrong saying “her”, “you”
as if a knife is all it takes to set things conveniently wrong

i close the door and leave my open mouth
and questioning eyes on the kitchen table
i break a nail and break my heart
as i dig two graves for myself

“let me hold you close” – Nayana Nair

my heaven
would have flowers in blue,
a storm of sunshine,
a road that runs like the soft song
that you once made me hear,
a sparrow that never stays still.

obviously
i do not know what it would be like
to live in such a heaven.
whether i would really be at peace there.
but through the walls of stone
that i could never scale
it looked so beautiful-
the world that you lived in.

but i cannot break what i am
nor can i chase away the shadows that i depend on
it is too late for that.
so before i close my eyes for the last time
let me hold you close.
become my last memory,
become my heaven.

“What I Remember (12)” – Nayana Nair

hailstones.
that’s what i remember.
when the stones fell
onto the already breaking roofs of our class,
the girl who sat three rows ahead
stopped reading.
everyone who was busy day dreaming,
who had shut their ears to every useless fact that we come to learn,
knew how to listen to this,
to this violence that could hurt but won’t.

i sat there listening,
wondering if my skin would also be able bear
what this tin sheet roof can,
if my classmates would look at me
understand their violence that could break me but hasn’t yet.

maybe it was our silence,
maybe it was the teachers glare
that made it stop,
made the loud shrieking rain to end.
and when she left
the stones had already turned into dripping water.
the kids wanting to forget
the trauma of being silenced,
of having their dreams interrupted,
of being reminded of their helplessness
recited incidents that didn’t happen,
tried to laugh a little louder than usual,
made another joke at the expense of someone like me
and so my only memory of hailstone
was also reduced to the din of students (who never liked me).

i closed my books and pretended to be asleep
while everyone ate and talked to their friends.
i waited for everyone to leave
so I could eat alone
without being ashamed for being left alone.
“hailstones”.
i said the word aloud in that empty classroom.
i had one more words now
to describe these kids who scared me by their meanness,
who made me like the prospect of loneliness.

“Crystal” – Nayana Nair

the crystals
where our future
was supposed to be hidden in,
turned out to be just stones.

we didn’t have enough magic
to make a stone speak.
we turned out be just as human
as we always suspected we were.

and now we have no one to ask
no one to give us false hope
no fiction, no roles,
no ghosts to fear.

we are back to fearing ourselves.

“Fading Heaven” – Nayana Nair

You asked
“Is this what becomes of love?
When this star falls and loses it’s distance,
when it loses it’s light
does it become nothing more than a stone
to be kicked around?”

I knew better than to tell you
that the stars do not care
for such trivial things as our love,
that the stars are more than mere stones,
when they fall they will take us as well
and that no one up in the fading heaven
is rooting for our happy end.

So I stay silent,
never meeting your eye.
I won’t let you see
all the faults of ours
that swims only in my eye.
I don’t want to say things
that I don’t want to come true.
One of us needs to be blind to reality
for this love to continue.

“What we won’t find” – Nayana Nair

I have spent every bit of my energy
trying not to cry, not to lose,
trying to believe that this suffering is fine,
that I’ll somehow make it through.
I struggle
to forget all the compromises
that have only given me new scars that no one can see but me,
to come in terms with the fact
that it is not my lacking that keeps me away from what I want
but the fact that I am not welcome where I am going,
I am not the one people want to see.

My heart, your love and happiness are both gone.
You cannot recognize them even if they return,
for my eyes have lost their light by seeing too much of this world.
We can be nothing more human version of disposable cups
to the ones who look through us, who live to hate us.
We will bleed till we die waiting for kindness that we won’t find,
for we are not made of stone even if every mirror shows us that we are.

Tomorrow, lets admit that we are not good enough,
lets just pack up bags and walk till we
find an easier dream or an easier death.

“What I Remember (3)” – Nayana Nair

 

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somehow that is where i always found myself.
crushed between the expectation that i had from myself,
even if these expectation in no way could be ever called achievement,
even if i could fulfill them.
maybe that is precisely why i felt
so crushed when my plans didn’t work out.
it was not because i asked for something small
and didn’t get it.
but because even though i had set such
an easy goal to achieve
i was not able to reach it.
the problem with those small goals were
that they didn’t exist because i was humble
or because i didn’t need much in life, or was satisfied easily.
i set them up within reason.
i set them up within my reach.
i found them as something that could be a stepping stone for me,
as something small that i can hold in my hand
wherever i went
to remind myself
that i am capable of something,
even if it is not something great.
and that’s why i used to be frustrated with myself
that i was not even capable of the minimum.
i could say it is almost in past though.
this calculation of what i could do,
finding something smaller than my assumption of my capability,
failing at it in epic way,
and reducing my own worth in my eyes.
i can say it is in my past
because now the circle of what i can do
is so small
that it has only space for me to stand.
that would explain by blues.
that would explain a lot of feelings
whose origin i can’t seem to trace these days.
that would explain why i am no longer afraid of dreaming
but incapable of doing so.
because all my efforts are spent on keeping my feet firm on this ground
which i now know is too easy to loose.

Bitter Wind

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Forsythia“, Billy Collins

I would rather not look around the next
corner of the year to see how this will die,
its light going out,
its bare, arching branches
waving like whips in the bitter wind.

So I sit facing the past,
letting my feet dangle over the wall,
beating time against stone with my heels,
as the the long gray clouds roll over me.