“nothing more, nothing else.” – Nayana Nair

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the last time i was young,
i was as young as the numbers i colored
on his last birthday card.
i remember the burning of birds
that followed our song of hope.

since then nothing was the same.
“the innocent” and “the sweet”
were the monsters that we killed
in the forests that grew in our house.
we killed a lot. we killed plenty.

hours swelled into years into decades
at every tear i tried to hide.
everything i tried to hide
grew as me, grew into me.

he grew into half a monster of kindness.
he devolved into an angel wielding my fear with smile.
it was the truest of love, without any doubt.
it was the only love of the world. the only one i would ever have.
knowing that helped. it helped me wish for nothing more, nothing else.

i grew my claws into the gentlest shapes.
i grew every contradiction in subtle ways.
i grew them nonetheless. that is how i hid.
in the light of his skin, my eyes learnt to love darkness
and yet when the day came, he asked me
to become someone from his memory,
someone untouched from the poison of our world.

he would pester me like a child
to show once again the trick of undoing,
to show the skin i hid from his fear,
to show the heart that he cannot accept.

“gentle things always begged for my fury”
he had said that once.
i remember the threat that lurked under his voice,
in that moment. in that moment,
i remember curling into myself in time,
before he learnt i was all that he couldn’t stand.
i remember choosing him foolishly.
i remember the violence of being chosen.

“what has changed”
i ask in my newest disinterested voice
and he smiled as if he was really not here.
his eyes looked at me as if i was already long gone,
as if he knew my every truth.
he reached out his hand and instead of new blood
i felt his new breaking.

“for a minute i am tempted to believe in this world”
he said in the voice we used to sing all our songs in.
and because i knew better. because i knew fear.
because i couldn’t lose my hidden flesh of hope
to entertain his momentary half-hearted wish to reform
i replied “there is nothing to believe.
there is only blood and flesh and lifeless spoils of war in me.
do you want to be free of me now?
why are asking for things i can never be, never give?”

i feigned hurt and looked at him
till he had to look away and laugh.
his laugh was filled, was welling
with something unfamiliar.
he looked in every direction but mine
as if letting me breathe in the relief of not being found
and the breathe out the disappointment of losing something unreachable again.
but i didn’t dare to breathe.

“truth as truth” – Nayana Nair

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even if i loved
it was all in vain
and if i couldn’t be loved
what good was i anyway

i utter such atrocities
hoping no one takes me seriously
yet hoping someone would cry.
i can’t tell from here
if i have broken anyone yet.
there is only blindness where i stand.
there is only light where i am allowed to be.
the lights stay on me.
the shadow of curtains comes down
on the momentary truth that hangs at my lips.

i wake up
and read about the dream i sold
looking for the cracks i made
but all i got was “pain looks good on her“.
i wonder if i am really that beyond hope.
my blood shines and my tears have wings.
my brokenness isn’t broken enough.
even in my honest moments
i only seem make pain more beautiful.
to be cared for, to be tended to
could it ever happen to me, should i even try.
to speak truth as truth
i wonder how that feels like.

“I can bear truth only when it is a figment of my imagination” – Nayana Nair

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Had I climbed up that mountain
I would have probably seen farther than anyone else.
There would have been roads
that clearly go somewhere.
There would have been an eroding edge
to this globe of loud wrecking dreams.
There would have been a faint hint
of a beautiful eye crying behind a rising cloud.
I would have looked down and searched
and in not finding myself
I would have been happy for a while.
But in a moment that is spelled
with the same frustrated relief
as finding my glasses at the most obvious place,
a peace in me would also have come to an end.
There is the roof where I wrote my life in chalk,
relying on the rain which never came.
There would be a shadow of trees, a group of animals
who refuse to call themselves by a collective noun
and they would have looked happier (probably).
There would have been a monument of marble,
the last pride and plague of ego,
taken down by the masses who moved like landslides.
I would have definitely looked for you.
After all it is what I have done most of my life.
And I would have seen you building yourself again
with your broken tools and shining blueprints.
I won’t know if you were sad or happy
and you won’t know that it mattered to me.
It would have been such a perfect distance to look at you.
A perfect distance to exist with relation to world.
But I won’t climb up there.
Just as I know so much of all that I have never seen,
I also know there is not a particle of me
that has a taste for truth.

“Can of Worms” – Nayana Nair

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I have lived well.
I have lived a happy life.
I hold nothing but love for the world.
I wake up everyday hoping for…????
When I close my eyes I see…?????
and then I feel hopelessly …???????

what is it that i was supposed to say?
i know the right words, i know the truth
i just can’t seem to remember the lie
that was supposed to make everything easy.
i only remember the words that will wreck the world.

the words that grow in me
is another can of worms
another name that i should not utter
another stain on my character that is invisible
till i do not acknowledge it

or so i am told

i hate that they are right

“i cry blood and drink blood. i live another day. still shamelessly wanting.” – Nayana Nair

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I am a fearful soul.
I can only hold the hands
that can break under my grip,
hearts that do not know
of their power over me.

I fear, no one would believe
in my fragile nature,
nor pity my deteriorating state
once I start breaking others
before eventually breaking myself.

My breaking is not my secret
even if it is an act that is remembered
only by my own hands, my own skin.
It remains a fabled tale
of the last death without spectators.

It lives to dissolve into the stronger truths,
it dissolves into the concrete results
that are now engraved with names
that were breathing just yesterday.

I walk to them
with cruel empty hands,
with loud disrespectful steps,
with brazen breath daring to still flow.

I take their name with my own,
with a sadness,
as if some part of me
has died with them as well.
As if I know anything about dying.

“When will I ever learn to see a human as a human, nothing more, nothing less” – Nayana Nair

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A boy covered in white fur,
and a silent dear pet
made of breaking human skin-
they stand together at my horizon.
They float together,
they move into the melting sun.
They melt and become one with
everything I have lost.
They color everything I am yet to lose.

I call out to them
but only wrong names,
only these wretched wrong names
come out of my cursed bleeding mouth.
I call out the names they don’t understand.
No one gets the broken syllables
they stand for in my heart.
“come back my innocence, come back my truth”,
but they won’t hear.
Those words mean nothing to them.
That’s how things should be,
even if it doesn’t make me glad.

My view and my ideas of them are bound to me,
everything false sticks to my skin.
They can’t chase them
out there.
What a thing to be thankful for!
They won’t learn more reasons to hate me.
Reasons I deserve to be hated for.
My own hate is enough for me.
What a contentment have I laughably found now!

“The truth doesn’t matter to me” – Nayana Nair

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And when asked if my words could be relied on,
if what I wrote was true.
I answered, “My life doesn’t know truth
as much as it knows love.
But when it comes to love, my words fails me,
I fail myself, before anyone else.
Failing is nothing to be proud of
and failing in love is like filling oneself
with doubts and faults that never existed before.
I can never be myself again.
My standing up or my lying defeated
may make a difference to the world,
my truth might matter to the everyone else
but not to me.

To me, what matters is already lost.
Now I just get to live a life of pretense –
play house, play life, play hearts
with people who seek truth in wrong places- in me.
If I asked if you can be relied on,
if you know the meaning of words you speak.
You might answer yes to keep my heart, to be better at love.
You might answer no and I will know it to be true even as I smile.
But nothing you say actually matters
the world will end and we will end long before that
and I will end before you-
because of you
or in spite of you.

You might turn out to be my last true love
or you might be the last nail in my heart.
But if I write a poem on eternal love
of someone whose shadows roughly look like ours,
know it is a lie we will never live up to,
but also know it is what I saw in us
even if it cannot be called truth,
even if it won’t be us.

“Without a reason, in this world” – Nayana Nair

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I sat in the shade of a tree that had no fruit,
no yellow buds, no promise of any spring.

Some broken ants with their broken sense of direction
crawled to me, and stared at me
as if their answers lay in my broken being.

My being, they say, are just colors-
the brightest colors of everlasting longings.
They say I am not even a half of a being,
so I cannot wish to complete or be completed
as long as I am me.

But now that I have stopped waiting,
stopped begging for a use in this world,
I feel that it is okay to exist like this.

I feel I can look back at the ants,
at the ones I can never complete
and tell them I don’t have their answers.
I feel I can tell them my truth
without wanting to “not exist”.

“The ground I won’t find” – Nayana Nair

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Even when I run away from you.
Even when I hate you from the depth of my heart-
the same depth where only you can breathe,
where I can allow no one but you.
Even then
you sit there, in front of me,
reminding me
how difficult it is
to destroy this love,
whose truth and strength
outlives
each sad, tragic moment that comes our way,
each moment of separation
that we are capable of creating from our ugly wants.
Once I couldn’t have imagined
the joy and frustration
of having a love like that.
A love that has no end
when end is all I want.
A love that tells me again and again
that I do not really know anything
and takes away the key of choice every time from my hands.
A love that will not even spare me to stay alive.
What a blessing! What a curse!
To have this bottomless hope.

“Hand-painted walls” – Nayana Nair

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The answer to your question-
the truth you always ask and wonder about
is there
somewhere inside me.
But inside me are many other things
that I have not been able to find till now.
And I would have probably invited you in
and asked you to help me a bit
if you were not better than me in every sense.
Just saying this makes me feel so cheap.
It makes me the person I am always trying to hide
and inside me things are a bigger mess.
There is a river of hatred and an ocean of guilt,
the walls of past that I paint over and over
but things just keep looking worse.
And though you hope to find a sky of love there,
though you hope to find a true love or a true end,
I would rather not be loved for the possibility of who I can be,
I would rather not be looked at closely,
or loved a bit more than I deserve.
And what I deserve is a piece of cake
that keeps getting smaller and smaller every day;
a cake I dare not eat, or even want .
I am afraid in my shrinking world,
there is no place for you
or anything called truth.