to each other & here we were wondering what they would say to us. I am wondering
what they’d think of bipolar disorder in their limited vocabulary. I am wondering if they
know what a funeral is. Consider sunset: surely they know the absence of
vitality, surely they touch each other at nighttime too, surely they know what
I’m talking about when I name lust a problematic emotion. Consider rain: do they know
they are drinking it? At the end of the next apocalypse when all the people are gone, will
the internet try to kill everything else? What do the mushrooms think? Do they want
to live? Do they know what an evolutionary instinct is? What do we do with all this
capitalism, so deep that we are surveilling the fungus. Picture the afterlife:
intelligence is only artificial when the people who made it are still alive /
intelligence is a construct of humanness / mushrooms will probably exist long after
we do. Picture the afterlife: the wires have taken over our buildings and cities, roots
crawling over their crevices, the mushrooms using their 50 “words” to tell them
it’s okay that they lived despite us.
Umang Kalra is a writer from India and the founding EIC of VIBE. Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in Strange Horizons, Wax Nine, Lucy Writers’ Platform, and elsewhere. They are a two-time Best of the Net Anthology finalist and a Pushcart nominee. Read more at umkalra.persona.co.