What was the experience of death like for you?
The fluids within my body failed to be held within my body, which, as far as I can tell, does not entirely differ from some experiences of life,
At what moment did you know there was an existence beyond earth?
as when, for example, I lay beneath another’s beautiful body of my own free will for the first time and learned in one of those staggering moments that I had hairs within my nostrils,
How did you feel?
because they stood on end, as if confused by which hole was meant to receive the body that was on top of me,
Were you met by anyone?
rapt into confusion. I once got to see inside of my own lower abdomen. Did you know there is a galaxy there? I have photographs to prove it.
What things in our world still attract you most?
My veins make azalea roots that teem with messages. There are lights whose names I don’t know. Malignancies are moons. There’s gold on the ocean shores. Planets made of other planets, growing into one another to rewrite the old rules about space and about time. I saw it all, through the eye within the eye. Someday, I’ll show you.
What would you like to clarify for our world about your life?
Daily existence, mine included, was nothing short of improbable.
Do you wish to return again?
Foucault once wrote, “The venomous heart of things and men is, at bottom, what I’ve always tried to expose.”
Is there a message you would like to give to our world?
Rilke once wrote, “You must change your life.”
Is there anything that you wouldn’t mind saying that would help assure your friends that you are you?
Whatever I have loved, I have taken its name in vain.
From Arrow (Alice James Books, Carcanet Press, 2020). Copyright © 2020 Sumita Chakraborty. Used with the permission of the author.