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“Virtual Image” – Nayana Nair

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the image in mirror is never formed

I copied this slowly
from my friend’s notes,
reading too much into it.

I moved my hands
over the new definition of real.

I traced the lines, the dull path of light
as faithfully as I could
but the solid blue lines of ink touch the glass
and are broken cleanly by the laws of reflection, every time.

Only I am left in this world of real stuff
tracing back the path
that only their changed selves could have taken.

But what difference does that make?
People who have changed
do they even want those old dreams?

Probably not, for all I see are points abandoned,
in the world of unpublished fiction
surrounded by crosses of dotted lines,
like the ones that are meant to be torn slowly.

the image in mirror is never formed

But it is there, in front of me.
By some miracle they exist
even when they don’t.

Doesn’t that count as real?

The emptiness in me
and in it your face.

Doesn’t that count as real?

“What I Remember (26)” – Nayana Nair

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I covered up myself up-
hiding the pieces,
hiding the glue,
hiding the knife close to my heart.
There is too little time
and so much to be disposed,
so much has to be kept at the bottom of the stairs,
under the sheets,
under the hand that cupped my face
so that no one could say with certainty
whether I am laughing or crying or thinking
about the hands that will never touch my face again
or wondering why I can’t move away
or keep away from mines and alligators
and magma and my fearful heart and dark wells
and palaces that never sink or get ruined
completely and green roads of past and red
destinations in my hands and love for colors
that will not love me back and following the one
with tearful eyes and the thoughts of some end,
any end.
All this extravagance,
so that no one could see my see through my real feelings
being eaten up by imaginary words and scenarios.

“Under the Blue” – Nayana Nair

The button of self-destruct was never so glorious,
never so definite, never so absolute
until she uttered “end” and it sounded like “home” to me.

I feared looking at the mark of x on my maps
that she had found with great pains.
The blue under the mark looked so harmless even when it was not.

Only when I saw her tears disappear with along with her
in the waters that no one dares to drink,
did I realize that I also had been drowning all along.

“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.

“the broken-hearted” – Nayana Nair

the broken-hearted know no love
for anything or anyone
that is not the one breaking their heart.
they see through you.
even when they say hello
they almost get your name wrong,
you can tell it from the look in their eyes.
they drink and fill every room with songs
that were not so hard to bear
when they were just noises that radio made.
they tell you in their drunken stupor that no one cares.

they say no one cares
even when you call the cab, drag them home,
hurt your hand in the struggle,
scrape more than skin, lose more than patience,
leave them on a bed not made
for weeks probably, you don’t want to guess or know.
so you close the door, climb down the stairs
shut down the part of mind reserved for them,
but remember how they have been liking and sharing
too many dark poems, how those poems
speak in their voice in your mind.
so you climb back, remove every blade and knife
and realize it is just the beginning.
you feel exhausted by the inexhaustible list of things
that can help end a life,
that can serve as a full stop.

so you sleep on the couch
or pretend to,
till your head hurts from pretending.
now that you want something true
you call your love
and tell him that you don’t know
how to handle this,
how to sleep and yet keep an eye
on the one whom you suspect is waiting,
waiting for you to close your eyes for a second
to make an exit that doesn’t exist.
he tells you that they are beyond hope
at the same time
he forwards articles that could give you hope.
he tells you to sleep tight knowing you won’t.

when you wake up at the sound of tears
being microwaved for breakfast,
you see another day that won’t be right.
you see them trying not to break
yet breaking and abandoning everything around them
so that their hurt can be felt by the world.
they look at you and smile
while they pour another glass
toasting “another drink for the world that doesn’t care,
another drink for the loveless me.”

the broken-hearted know no love
for anything or anyone
that is not the one breaking their heart.

“your desire would burn away” – Nayana Nair

i read this on a torn sheet of paper
that was lying, waiting (possibly for me?)
in that empty hall, that on a normal day has never known empty.
and being who i am, this again had to be an easy answer from a higher power.
being who i was i believed that the confusion in my mind
rocked every throne in heaven.
so again i assumed as i said i never would,
that these must be the words that could solve me.
never mind the context, never mind the book or it’s title.
there is so much missing and this paper still remains
it might mean something,
it must mean something,
everything had to mean something for me to somehow go on.
it said “your desire would burn away,
the moment you let it have your words”
so i uttered your name with the place you have in my heart.
i mustered up enough courage to speak of the place i wanted in you.
it sounded dubious and shallow.
it sounded so much like me
that i thanked myself for not saying it to you.
i made a clean tear through that piece of paper
for being too right and being too wrong
and walked away wanting now to become a better vessel,
the person on whose lips these words would really sound the way they felt
i walked away waiting for my mind and your heart
to become good enough for those feelings.

nothing burns away.

“Picnic” – Nayana Nair

On a spread of fake smiling suns
and the unreasonably happy flowers in pink,
I kissed your smile
without wondering
what it meant for me in the long run.
Without knowing if you would want me back
the way I do.

And when you held on to me
I didn’t know how to stop my violent tears
or how to let you know
how your embrace
is the only thing that feels honest
to my worn out heart
or how precious this honest touch, this simple love
is to a person like me.

“Cheap Literature” – Nayana Nair

Don’t ask which part of me
are easier to love.

I have tried so hard
to become someone who cannot be be loved
without effort or tears.

My faith in love,
my faith in those who love
or it’s absence
is not so difficult to explain.

Clue: Every pop song that leaves you in shambles.
Clue: The books that you call cheap literature.
Clue: The lovers who want to get to the happy ending fast, so they can think about and focus on more important stuff.
Clue: The sappy feelings that you are not interested in.

Those who first talk of my skin and my volume when they talk of love.
(I mean you.)
Those who think that my view of the world, and how the world views me
is just a phase that won’t hopefully be their burden for life.
(I mean you.)
Those who tell me about my selfishness, my unreasonable fears, my unstable suspicious tiring mind over lunch as they run their blade over every bit of exposed skin of mine. Those who are satisfied when I don’t even wince as I bleed, just the way I have been trained.
(I mean you.)
You have made this whole process
more difficult than it should be.

Don’t ask me the easy way.
I might just begin to hate you for that question.

“hope is a bird with nine lives and slow deaths” – Nayana Nair

Now that we are an year apart.
Now that everyone has been talking about
new beginnings and second chances,
I let myself be myself,
let myself be swayed
at the hope, at the thought of the ONE.

But being myself
also means to be keep my heart broken.
It means to leave every crowded room
to find the corridors where I can be finally alone
with the mistakes I am about to make.

I hold someone who could have been you but is not.
I cry the same tears that once made you pity me.
I jot down a name and a number
and a weakness, a need
where I could fit myself into.

And as I lay in bed
I feel something sad and beautiful in my heart-
an end that I am creating for myself.
This is how love has always been for me,
so I let it be and smile
as I kiss another stranger
who won’t be able to save me from anything.

“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

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