“By holding you back” – Nayana Nair

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And what do I desire
when I plant my body
in the path of storm,
when I place my hand
on your ailing nerve.

The ideas of gaining,
of becoming, of light –
the unholy invasive light
claiming all my hiding spots,
why do they seem to not matter.

The slow definite end
that I looked forward to,
whose hopes I relied on
to just breathe,
why does it seem hateful
when you are the one
moving towards it.

When my skin knows every surface
your struggling hands have grazed,
when I know sometimes
one cannot just go on,
why do I feel this all is unfair
when you are the one
who yearns to dissolve.

“Morph” – Nayana Nair

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That feeling
when something of this world
rushes past you
and you are nothing else for that moment
but the afterimage of what has gone by,
something that definitely was
unlike your own self
that never appears but only haunts.

I don’t know how people cope
with that overwhelming storm
of knowing
the worlds that you can morph into
and all the things
that maybe you always were.

When you become a floating hat and its silent river,
when you become the knob of the radio,
the glass feeling the air before the snow,
the shredded corners of a letter that weeps,
the loudspeaker at the corner of the road
with its abundance of sound and silence,
the sundress peeled away,
the flow of time and fate.

I don’t know what to make of this.
I sit on tables filled with people
who know a thing or two about life
and they talk
as if they have always been their skin,
as if no one can be anything else
but themselves.
So I become the table feeling the soft elbows
pushing down some loneliness with its weight.
I become the napkin held in a fist.

I am now the sky looking down at me
and now the child that I lost long ago.
I am breaking and being taken over
by all the beautiful lonely things.
I feel I was probably made for this.

“changing light bulbs” – Nayana Nair

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this tiny sun,
this lovely creation
how it shines, and how it dies.
it flickers like a dying trapped firefly.
it raises a lightning on our pages
that we have spread out to dream on.
we pull and drag a tiny sleeping tree
that we never sit on
and find a way to rests it against the sky-
this sky that is almost always falling down.
i climb without looking back
for i know you are holding my ground.
as another cloud rushes past my cheeks,
as i pluck another proof of death ,
i feel your fingers lingering on my ankles.
i feel the first storm of spring in my mind.
i look down at you and smile
and you smile back
as you take the dead orb
and sad prophesies from my hands
and hand me a new sun,
the one that you brought on your way back from work
just because you saw me look at the fading light with worry last night.
my tiny sun, how can you love me like that?
you look at me and give a tiny clap
the moment i am done placing the sun back in the sky,
you look at me as if i invented life.
even if you are mistaken,
it is beautiful though
to see you wearing your silly delicate beliefs
only for me to see.

“a bird flies” – Nayana Nair

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a bird flies
a blue sky now has to break

a fish, a boat, a storm
has been caught in my dream

a fire must be lit, i must feed myself
to the gods of flames, to the goddesses of smoke,
to the cruel demigods made of ashes

i am awake
and now i must make up new words
new feelings, now i have to make myself a human
now i have to break in acceptable ways

i am facing a human who smiles at me
now i have to give up on half of my blood to stay here,
now my ashes have to nurture the roots of this tree
that wishes to be nothing else but a shadow on ground

“Everything in me seems to be made to hope” – Nayana Nair

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I stand in the shadow
of the great palms
of the red tiles that grow out of its soul
I stand watching the world go cold.

The broad roads of this city made of dust,
the river made out the minds, out of dreams –
this is my home,
till I learn to break away from its spell.

My tongue feels heavy
with the growing names I am supposed to learn,
with all the things I must not be to be loved by them.
I am almost expecting new things.
“this is a good time to run away”, says my ghost-from-the-city-of-sea.

My ghost-from-the-mountains-green laughs
at how desperately I want to be understood, to be seen
and yet how furiously I try to erase everything of myself.

Everything in me seems to be made to be hidden.
I hide my trembling fingers.
I hide my desperation and the mess it leaves in its wake.
I prepare myself for another show.
The show of trying. My trying is so beautiful
in how it is always hoping to be disappointed.

I wait under the neon signs of misspelled words
and think about the storm that will never arrive.
I wait with hope.
I wait with arms fed up of trying.

“I think of you” – Nayana Nair

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On this new morning, as this new cold finds my old bones,
I think of you.

Today when your name surfaces on the silent lake
I do not row towards it, I do not push it down.

I stare and breathe as the water moves
you and me.

I stare, without making my knuckles red,
without holding onto you or myself.

The mist of time and the storms of words-not-meant
they rise and settle and we part,

just as we rehearsed,
just as we have performed a thousand times in life.

I look back and see only a sunrise of a color you’d like.
I float a thank you, a broken oar towards you,

a hope for your life and some peace for mine.
All that I have loved has been eaten away by time.

Your body, your mind is now broken
into thousand scattered restless dots of dust

so when I think of you, in my mind
you are the life of the light. So unlike your presence in my life.

You remain that even as I lose my grasp
over the meaning and texture of love.

I forget what we were really like.
So I often get to miss you. You often make me smile.

“Love is like that for everyone” – Nayana Nair

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I washed my face
and with the water dripping
from my messy bangs onto the dress
that I never planned to ruin
I stared at the ant on the wall.
I listened to the sound of you
falling in love again just across the wall.

I held in the meaning of this
along with my breath.
I blew at the ant wondering
if I can be a force to be reckoned with
a hurricane for someone else.
Maybe not. I felt a sense of camaraderie
with the legs of prey today.
So maybe not today.

Or maybe never.
I feel you would laugh
even if I tried to be one.
I feel a storm. I always feel it at my back
whenever I turn away from you.
I wish I could fear for you, worry about you
in those moments
and not think about the knives
that leave your hand
always to find me. Though you say
you never meant it to be that way.

I fear most – the words of love from your lips,
because they are never for me,
but always said within my earshot
And though you say love is like that for everyone,
but do you really fear the same things as me?
Do you pray to the gods of bathroom ants
for forgetfulness, for survival
as if love is force that will always be against you?

“This is my thrashing around. This is my thank you.” – Nayana Nair

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Ice floats and ships sink
but the absolutes end here.
For this red sun, that seems
to sink together with us all,
is just playing a kind game.
It is will be fine. Just fine.
It will pretend to die
just for our sake.
Just like how it pretends to be born
so that we don’t feel alone.

It doesn’t know yet, that we feel lonely
in spite of that. That there are things in life
that can make us forget, that can cancel
the sunshine and the storms. There are soft things
that gets trodden upon,
there is a kindness that we can’t value as humans
because it doesn’t come from the one we want.
There are things with weight and never leave our heart-
Like love, like death, like subjective harshness of this world.
Like the unnamed thing eating our dreams,
Like the unmanned vehicle of luck running over us-
leaving us alive everytime.
The friend who forgets us so often
that we believe that we are ghosts, the rain of care
that we try to predict in the eyes of cold lover,
the floating bodies that we can’t recognize.
But we cry and in our tears we feel the remains
of the memory that we can’t access.
we only feel we must cry or we will regret.

So dear sun
forgive us if we don’t return your smile
as we thrash around breathless in water,
as we demand answers in a voice weathered by tears.
Forgive us if we forget
that unlike us you will probably die alone.
Things get forgotten
important things like you and the other members
of your life-filled-lifeless club.
That’s just how we are
but we realize it sooner or later what they were.

I can recall the days when i knew you tried to save me.
You almost succeeded. You were beautiful
even when my life was not. But even that helps.
Thank you.
We may not say it that much, but we have written a lot about you
in the papers you’ll never read.
I hope when you die the papers that are filled with your beauty
can burn to give you a few more breaths.
I hope it helps even though it won’t.

“Goodbye to all the warm things” – Nayana Nair

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The white curtain, the whistling wind
doesn’t vanish,
no matter how many times
I close my eyes.

The chill under my feet
slowly turns into the ice within my bones.
The hope within my heart
blinds me a bit more.

For every step I take
another cold molecule of my sense of self
breaks away from me.
Every step is an unavoidable mistake.

All warm things are now resting
in the rooms of past-
the melting summer and the stickiness left by
the kiss of ice cream at the corner of my lips,

the one tree that I burnt for three winters,
the big windows, the big dreams
that almost burnt a hole in my heart
as I wrote down hollow words recited by my teachers,

the warmth on my skin
as your eyes fell on me,
that whole minute for which you were
the closest star to earth, my new sun.

But every step is an unavoidable mistake.
Every step is a goodbye.
Every sun that my eyes create, falls
too easily from its branch.

No matter how many times
I close my eyes.
it doesn’t vanish-
this world that now I can no longer love.

The light that will never fall on you
is the light I will never see.
Isn’t it beautiful – this cold
that takes me a bit closer to you, even if like this.

“In the forest of reality” – Nayana Nair

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Ghost of fireflies
in the forest of reality-
that is me,
that is you,
that is so much of what we don’t want to be.
But if it has to stay beautiful,
if it has to stay clean,
it must be this.

We must meet without meeting.
We must love without loving.
We must walk this path that we believe in
more than we believe in any love.

I close my eyes and tell myself,
“I don’t believe, I won’t believe”
even as the storms of despair
and the clear sky of your existence
are the only thing I know to be true.

You tell me,
“We must breathe the reality
and worship the fleeting.”
So I hold my hands together
again without a prayer on my lips.

I am afraid of prayers.
Unlike you (or maybe just like you)
I am always at the verge of wishing
for some real crumbs of you,
of wanting to stray from the “right”.