“a piece of writing…that should have been me, but is not” – Nayana Nair

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I look out of windows of places that I want to escape
and only after 24 hours, only after 12 years
in a poem about crows, in an essay about public school,
in a story, in a ruin not mine
do I find the space to figure out, to sketch
what I would have thought of, if I allowed myself to think.
If I allowed myself to feel, what I would have loved,
what I would have gladly run away from.
The lives that I couldn’t start, the roles I couldn’t end
they leave my skin and become the masks they always were.
I carefully place these masks
on the words that have nothing to do with me
My words
they only hold the mould
that were too painful for me to confirm to or accept.

“Saving only December” – Nayana Nair

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All the spring’s color
have been molten and poured
into the broken casts of summer.
They seep into ground, into autumn leaves
that falls in every space between you and me.
They sing something for us again
as we shiver and stop ourselves from giving in,
as you hold back from saying every word
that can fix me (at least for now).
I google how to kill feelings
that don’t let me eat or speak or smile.
I bite my lips trying to bury the words
that would shine in your colors, if you were to look at me.
If you were to look at me, you would be only sad
to know how unchangeable my heart is.

You tear sheet after sheet, rip them out of calendar
and hand them to me.
We burn 11 months, saving only December, because you never know.
There is a knock on our door, someone who is lost
brings in the chilled wind, the fine dust of snow,
and voices celebrating something we will never understand.
I wait for you to come back and settle into you warm sleep.
I sit at the foot of the sofa, and think about
the one time I dreamt of death.
I was looking out of window waiting for you
and you came back with new pair of eyes that never settled on me,
and when I was almost about to cry
you moved towards me with a dying sparrow in your trembling hands.
It lay on its side with its soft violent gasp for breath
that were perfectly in sync with mine.

“A beautiful day to finally write your name” – Nayana Nair

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On the broken lines of bold white,
on the burning roads far away from home
I knelt down
in the heap of my skirt made of fairy dust
and disappointments of all kinds.

I found a pretty crack
with space enough to be something of its own
and with a style that you’d agree with.
With my fingertips already crying red
I wrote you name
in the best writing I could.

Your name that couldn’t fit
beside mine, or the scorecards with better marks,
or a business card that was not a part of scam,
or with a number that could for once be reached,
or the nameplate that you kept losing
in the sleepy playgrounds of our eyes.

We missed you.

We missed you.
in the conversations
where we thought only of you
and yet couldn’t speak of you.
We thought of you
always with an ache,
always with a heart that wanted more of you
while wanting to forget the little that we had.

I wrote your name
and ran my fingers over them again.
A kid knelt down beside me
offering me a smile as he took in
a pain he couldn’t understand.
Today, of all days, I was not allowed to smile.

I walked away wondering
if he knew you,
if he now lives in your name,
if he knows someone who wrote like me,
who wrote words that will fit nowhere but here.
Your name could be anybody else’s.
You could have lived like everyone else
and yet…

You stand beside the fire” – Nayana Nair

In the rubble with nerves hiding sparks,
in the nest of sleeping explosives,
again it is you.
Again you are here to prove something
by doing something unasked for.

You build a place for warm tea,
for all our shivering ghosts to haunt.
You place the chairs that are not chairs
but buckets that cannot hold anything now.
There are chairs that are lying around just fine
but you don’t want them.
You don’t want the old purposes eating away
the beauty of all that is left behind.

You console the ones holding onto what is no longer there
but you don’t want the ones who want a way back to what it was.
You ask us questions with your bleeding lips
you want us to answer with something real,
not just words.
“You are cruel”,
you laugh when we say that.
You make us leave everything we are
just so that we can finally sit on empty buckets
thinking about the hands we cannot hold,
thinking about hands that are no longer hands.

“The city is no longer burning”, you tell us
as we place our empty glasses in front of our empty eyes
and tell us it is fine if we don’t believe it now.
“Sleep. Dream and stay for a while with the molten and bombed,
the lost and the dead that still have your heart.
Take your time.”

As we lay awake in our heart-wrenching grief,
as we lose ourselves to your favorite world of sleep,
you stand beside the fire
that keeps us alive.
You stand beside the fire
that is not actually fire
but your heart
that burns like sun.

We wanted to tell you, “You are kind.
You are too beautiful for this world.
Have our heart and burn it instead.”
But we couldn’t .
We knew these things were easy only in words,
that these were things we couldn’t do, yet.
That we have not smiled and laughed with bleeding lips,
helping while being hated.
That we were too selfish to be you.

“the constant part of love” – Nayana Nair

i remember your hands and their warmth
like i remember
the versions of me
that were easier to live with (or so i think).
the colors, their unnatural brightness,
the scent of acetone always lingering
on the tips of your fingertips,
always hiding a sad rainbow (just my type).
always a star that you forgot to rub and break,
shined on your skin.
under my lips, they shined brighter than my world.
i swam to them as they stood in a world of darkness
in the shapes of you and me.
it is so odd
that in my constantly breaking and building and growing
brain and its images and meaning-
everything about you meant love.
i loved your flower hairpins and fake bullets
and the magazines of the the people you would rather be
and the window you glanced out of when didn’t want to look at me
and your back against mine.
it is odd
that i could love you so
even when i didn’t know why?

“a way out” – Nayana Nair

I saw you
in a moment abandoned by every story.
I saw you
slowly circling the window of life
to find a way in.
I watched you,
waited for you
as I lay on the painful bed of abandon,
as I wrote my hundredth song
on the beauty of giving up.
With my eyes glued to you
I ate another scoop of air
and lied about the sweetness it fills me with.
I wondered
what a person like you would think of me.
As you flit across my only sky
I can’t help but hope for you,
hope to be like you.
I also can’t help
but hope to be free from you.
To wake up to a frozen window
with nothing to stop me from…

“What I Remember (26)” – Nayana Nair

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.

“my eyes miss everything” – Nayana Nair

i try not to think
about the places that are lost
and evaporated
only leaving clouds of colorless memories
floating on my not so blue sky

places that are lost
not only to me
but to this world
now no one will ever know the sweetness
of the light that was never beautiful enough
to be captured and framed
light that is only beautiful only in its death
beautiful only when it rises up without a reason
on the surface of our eyes

how my eyes miss seeing everything
that now cannot be seen
my eyes wake up from the dream of yesterday
into this new day that i must write
feeling that again i have lost something,
something meaningful in that dream
that will never return to me
a dream that i have no right to dream again

i try not to think about such losses
losses with name or reason or heartache
but no matter how much try
some days that is all i can think about

“Blue white love” – Nayana Nair

As I wait for you
in the back seat of your car
almost losing sense of my limbs and my scars
I smile – the sad smile I would never use when I am sober.
I smile thinking,
thankful,
at least I am not crying and waiting
in the trunk of some stranger’s car.
I don’t necessarily love you
but I guess I love your pattern, the predictability of your anger,
the time I have to prepare my skin to shatter.
I think about the times I have been broken
and abandoned by the loves and by the men before you
I think about your anger that I never forget this past.
I think about your hands that I can count on
even when your hands love my pain the most.
I think of your funny jokes, the food you cook in your good mood,
the songs that you hum as you move around the house,
your bluish white wings and your flickering halo
when you are asleep by my side.
I think I can love you a bit after all.

this is not how i should be – Nayana Nair

I hate to admit this to myself
but I can’t quite understand you.
At worst, I judge your unreasonable feelings
and your self-indulgence.
Often I step away and try hard to feel your pain
and yet it escapes me.
Whatever I imagine is the landscape of your heart is,
it is never quite correct.
Something really important,
probably a loss that I have never faced,
is missing from my understanding.
“this is not how i should be”-
I end up thinking this every time when I think of you.
When you say “you won’t understand”,
I once again realize how insufficient I am.
Because you are right.
Because I can’t understand.
I wonder if one day I can do something more than just loving you.
I wonder if one day I can see you as you want to be seen.