“the open doors don’t mean much now” – Nayana Nair

.

the towers
are open to the public now.
the crowd can now crow
and row and climb
to the better views-
a softer light,
a smaller distant world,
the illusions of gods
growing on our own earthly skin.
this radiance
was supposed to mean something else,
something more, something new though.
but these deafening footsteps,
this meaningless chatter,
these houses now growing like shrooms,
the clothes now drying on every step,
the resurgence of life and the blooming bruise,
the grass growing, the herds living
and dying in the shade of the tower-
they only make me cry.
even in their most wretched moments
they still remain things i can’t have.
the singular monument of hope
and its playground of chaos
and me, the only child
who doesn’t belong,
looks up at the promised sky,
feeling a new hollowness creeping.
feeling myself break
for the same old things in new ways.

“There is still something similar to a heart in him” – Nayana Nair

.

There was once
something similar to a heart
trapped under his breathing flesh.
You remember that stage of wood –
the house of stories in skin,
that used to be hidden away
at the end of a road so narrow
that one could reach its door on knees.
His heart was that place
before it found a new real way to sing of ends.
Do you remember
the night of immense light three years ago-
the night of mad faith,
the burning of glazed wood,
the men who could only speak of hauntings,
of the cold breeze that lived under their skin
as they sought truth and reality
by burning the rest away.
He still repeats those words in his sleep,
those songs that are not really his,
the songs that should have never
been put to words.
Forgive him
or better ignore him,
for he is not entirely here.
A part of him is still burning somewhere.
A part of him is still trying
to survive the death of his world.

“Whatever good remains” – Nayana Nair

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I looked at the beautiful beautiful plate,
the rice lit like pieces of paradise,
the spice, the salt,
a garden, a farm,
a forest fit into morsels.
I wanted to write about food
and realized how it no longer fills me
but what feeds me are the hands that make them.
Carefully they serve the empty cold plate,
fill it with love and color and texture
and sprinkle “i love you” and “hope you are always happy”
and “hope you are always full” without restrain,
always, always in excess.
But I am never full,
and I am often not happy.
I eat this world and their love
always with half my heart heavy
with ugly yearning for things that cannot be.
But whatever good remains of my heart
remains because they love, they care
for me like this,
without reconsideration,
without restrain,
always,
always
in excess.

“today’s weather is fashioning a hollow revenge out of my sorrow” – Nayana Nair

.

“all those creatures of rotten wings
that circles above us,
not even waiting for our death,
not even the basic respect for a life
hanging by its broken teeth
on the clothes line of memory
in the unwelcome worrying winds
of this world,
what if we get to them first,
what if we didn’t use our last breath
to remember our love, to seek the god we never bothered
to think about in life, to raise our hands to give forgiveness,
to the ones who are already fighting over our funeral cost, to sit
by the trashcan fishing out and reviewing
our stories, our lives, only to let out a sigh,
always a sigh.
what if we take out the meanest arrow
in our anger filled, no-longer-shaking arms
and shoot them down, not even bothering
with threats and pleadings. what if we end things
with the sky lit in red. what if we end
it all ourselves. without wait. it sounds clean, mean,
and better. better than all the things
we are allowed to do with our last drop of strength.”

“what’s the meanest arrow you’ve got?”

“he, whose hands only know how to build. he, who only remembers grace.” – Nayana Nair

.

there is a garden
wilting and blooming
in the most lovely ways.

your hands water them,
bring them up
in the softest light.

in the dying wind
you teach them love
and the geography of pain,

the correct way to place
names on lost tongues
and people in failing heart.

the world is ending
in the background
but you never take notice.

how lovely you look
as you worship this life
that has only broken you.

“The best way to disappear” – Nayana Nair

.

My emptiness is finally put to use.
The fishes swim in me –
the luminous disfigured creatures of depth
and the beautiful dying ones of light,
fill me up one by one.

I teach them songs of sorrow.
I hold them in my endless embrace
singing them back to life
and in return they let me feel like someone
who can protect, love, and shield.
They let me feel things no human ever could.

Even though I hate to be seen
I smile as my body is put on display.
My skin, the strongest glass.
My skin, the weakest beams.
The shallowest of oceans I become.

Humans hold hands, hold themselves
as they stand before me.
They find possibilities, mysteries, awe
in all that I hold inside,
in all that isn’t me.

“The things we hate are sometimes the only things that can be counted upon” – Nayana Nair

.

Even in my nightmares I had a home,
I had the warmth of my own
love-yearning heart whose selfish haunting
was more powerful than the sorrow
of the world itself.
Even when the night came
and killed the song of every bird.
Even when god abandoned my shadow,
even as I dreamt the eyes I loved
drowning in blood, floating towards my end.
I could live,
I could still write poems
under the light of my pain.

“No other reason” – Nayana Nair

.

There is an empty blue seat on the bus.
You can always find them – the empty seats,
they swim in abundance in front of your eyes
when you have nowhere to go,
no hurry, no person to reach.
But to find them as you rush in and push past
the people you don’t know
holding the warmest hand in this world
is a miracle I guess.

But today is not the day for a miracle.
At least no old miracles are to arrive.
The buses they rush past
as if they have never known me,
to be fair I don’t remember
the buses like I remember people;
to be fair roads are meant for the rush.
But the cars don’t mean you,
the slow bicycles don’t mean you;
the buses that keep arriving,
the last seat always empty-
to be honest, even they don’t mean you.
You are just dragged as an additional part
as an extension to a feeling that once made me whole.

You are added as an afterthought.
I only look for you in this world
when I have no place to go, no one to blame,
when no other reason comes to my mind
for the reason my heart has grown cold,
for my eyes seeking rain,
when I see people sit back and look out
from the window that once framed us as one.
Without feelings, without missing anything,
I think of you only to fill that space.

“Morph” – Nayana Nair

.

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.

“i will come to see you again” – Nayana Nair

.

and when i come to meet you
there are oranges buried in snow
and grenades in fruit bowls.
there is your smile that is locked
in a room filled with flammables
your new bedroom- you tell me as you turn away.
i take steps towards this ruined shrine
and a ghost, wearing all the dead roses of our world,
holds a spear of your name against my chest.
i step back and follow your cold body
again through the corridors buried in rain.
you stop suddenly and say something
but miss it as i rush into you,
through you,
through the fragile wall and doors
of another breaking dream
and i am here again, alive and distraught
under this comfortless ceiling of reality.