For I'm the resurrection, said Emma, I rise above the mundane to where the golden children live for eternity at the age of three. Munificent is the Mad Queen of Bedlam, she who rules the Duat with iron fists of molten silk, she who has brought me back to life here to live with policewomen and firefighters, mothers and sisters all. In my life, I was morbid, I dwelt in mordant ways, I forgot it was not enough just to survive. I forgot to feel the magnificent insanity of the sun on my cheek. I was destined for the dark valleys of Hell where Grief is a scarred woman, waiting in the shadows, the gargoyle pendant around her neck.
When I was but human, I did not believe in magic, even though it was in magic that I dwelt, in the dank old churches where I prayed and the schools where I learnt to be a woman. I did not know it was God's hand that lifted me where I fell, that it was in Her arms that I surveyed the shining minarets and ancient towers that were to be my destiny. I did not know that each time I fell, I fell into her softness, that the pliant mud and putrid sewers were really the iron softness of her bosom. They call me mad here at World's End, here at the disinfected red-lined bridge between all that's doomed to die and eternity. No one has ever realized that immortality is a kind of madness, the best kind. One must be mad to fly to deny that apotheosis of sanity, gravity. I fly where I sit.
I see the golden girls around me, sipping at their cold chocolate and dreaming gravely of the police officers and soldiers they once were. They are very terrible little girls. In your world, I'm not beautiful. I have no legs and no arms, just a rainforest of scars for a face and two black holes for eyes. I look upon my golden girls with all the love of my heart and I judge you with the awful clarity of my absence of vision. You shall be judged and you shall be found wanting. This earth will be your Hell.
When I was four, my daddy took me in his arms and as I took in the rich odor of his tobacco and sweat, I saw the world as he saw it, sanitized of its pain and grief. I saw mountains that led to the sun, I saw that the sun was the beauty in my dead mother's eyes.
From then on, I never saw pain. I only felt it. I never saw evil, not even in the man that entered me with all the throbbing power of his hate.
No one has ever loved me as much as my daddy did. No one has ever loved me since. Except she. I can feel Her love in the little, sharp kisses of your knives.
Adreyo Sen resides in Kolkata, India. He is pursuing his MFA at Stony Brook, Southampton.